What a joy and a journey it has been to write music for the upcoming documentary The Goyesque. I will not say too much about the documentary but simply guide you to the site. Some of you have already seen the site and can trace the film's evolution from its beginnings.
About 4 years ago my dear friend, Christopher Burke, world renowned art photographer, asked me if I would write music for a documentary film he was directing about - among other things - the prominence of the bull in the history of art. After seeing masses of compelling footage I simply had to say yes.
This video was shot in the Roman Arena in Arles, France. Chris, his director of photography, Martial Barrault, and editor, Eben Bull, decided to film me playing in a couple of different locations in the famous arena. At the same time they were also filming at a variety of other sites. Some of the footage of the bulls was taken during bullfights, which they had filmed in the arena a few years earlier. In other footage of bulls, they are roaming fields in the province known as La Camarque.
The music I am playing is not an actual improvisation as the title implies. What I did was to play the various sections from the second movement of my piece, Now and Ever. I played them in a free and improvised manner. I weaved in and out of sections, not in the sequence that appears in the original work. I wish I could say it was all improvised a la Keith Jarrett. I chose this piece early in the project because it fit perfectly with so many of the images. The music in this video will be in the finished film. It will likely be altered and scored for different instrumentations.
Since the beginning of the project I wanted the music to come from the perspective of the Bull. To the extent that is possible, that served as an emotional starting point.
As we progress I will be writing additional music which may or may not end up in the film but will be part of a CD release. Among the guests that will appear on the CD are the legendary guitarists Andy Summers and Paco Pena.
I hope you enjoy this video as much as we enjoyed making it. I want to extend huge thanks to Eben Bull who made 98% of the artistic decisions, and did all the editing of both the music and the film. In addition, tremendous thanks go to Christopher Burke and to Martial Barrault and his fabulous film crew. It has been an honor and a joy to be part of this project.
Until the next time, Peace, Love, Guitars and Bulls!
Links to The Goyesque
Aloha Friends, I’m thrilled to announce my 16th guitar class on the island of Maui in Hawaii from Tuesday, July 7 through Thursday, July 16, 2015. Joining me as guest teacher this year will be my dear friend Andrew York, who needs no introduction but just in case he’s a virtuoso guitarist, composer, and former member of the Grammy Award–winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.
A primary reason we play any piece of music is because it touches us in some deeply personal manner. There exists within the piece some musical truth that resonates within us. Such is the case with Agustin Barrios Mangore’s Julia Florida.