Covid-19 is dangerously impacting the social-economic category of musicians. No concerts, poor political and social consideration, uncertain earnings. As a consequence, an ever-growing number of musicians, especially those from the experimental area, are trying to promote their music on BandCamp in digital format only. It is increasingly difficult for me to follow and review this incredible flow of music. I therefore decided to open this section on my blog Neuguitars where I propose music in digital format that I consider particularly interesting and worthy of attention. I hope you like it. Let’s support musicians. They need it.
David Tanenbaum plays As She Sings, New Focus Recording, 2021 on #neuguitars #blog
For the past five decades, guitarist David Tanenbaum has championed his instrument and ushered countless new solo and chamber works into the repertoire, enriching it with his curatorial acuity and powerful and sensitive performances. As She Sings documents several of those works, from an early piece written for him by his father, composer Elias Tanenbaum, to Dusan Bogdanović’s textural song cycle Games, to the most recent work in the collection by iconic Brazilian virtuoso Sérgio Assad.
More angular and modernist than most of Assad’s music, Shadows and Light features searching, snaking lines that explore increasing dissonance and tension over a series of dense repeated chords. In an energetic middle section, a rhythmic pedal point is embellished by guitaristic fills and accented chords that are more characteristic of Assad’s Brazilian inflected writing. Sequential flourishes followed by decaying echoes offer shades of Leo Brouwer. A pensive coda echoes the voicing of the opening, but the light seems to have overcome the shadows as the dissonance gives way to expansive, consonant harmonies.
released March 12, 2021
Producers: Jason O’Connell (1, 7, 15) Ronald Bruce Smith (2-6) Alden Jenks (8-14)
Recorded at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, except 2-6 recorded at Wellspring Sound, Acton, Massachusetts
This recording is made possible by grants from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as well as Greg and Liz Lutz
Design & layout: Marc Wolf, marcjwolf.com
Cover image: Jacob Tanenbaum
Guitars: Daniel Friederich, 1996, on Games Stephen Connor, 2012, on all other tracks
David Tanenbaum uses D’Addario strings