Rob MacKillop

Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Two New Videos – Lauro and Ponce

In Guitar on November 13, 2009 at 10:08 am

Two studies or preludes by Ponce, and La Negra by Lauro. Having trouble with the fourth string which has developed a zing. Can’t wait to get my new guitar, again a short-scale model by Rodriguez, but a big upgrade on what I have already. Negociating with them for a ten-string, which would be amazing.

LATER – I’ve now removed both videos. That D string was bugging me. Will do them again later…


New Video: Cantico by Sojo

In Guitar on November 8, 2009 at 12:16 am

I recall playing this piece many years ago, maybe 22 years ago, and don’t think I’ve played it since, certainly not in the last 10 or 15 years,yet somehow it was still in the memory banks. Some tunes just get you that way. I used it to demonstrate the Ambra string set by Aquila which is meant to be the nylgut version of their Gut and Silk set, specially created for guitars from the time of Tarrega to Pujol, about 1880 – 1950, and I think it does that admirably. The feel of gut or nylgut is great for a no-nail, flesh technique, and I hope you like the sound. I can’t believe it is a cheap student guitar, but I’m looking forward to the upgrade arriving from Rodriguez in three weeks or so time.

Added 3 Playlists

In Music on November 2, 2009 at 8:56 am

In an attempt to organise my YT pages, I’ve added three Playlists to the BalcarresGuy Channel – Lute, Baroque Guitar, and 19th-Century Guitar. How do you access these? Locate the Subscribe, Uploads and Playlists buttons above the main video – click Playlists. Choose which Playlist you want to view, then once you press Play on the first video, all the videos in that Playlist will play in order.

what’s next?

In Music on November 1, 2009 at 8:02 am

I’ve removed ‘Three Renaissance Spanish Pieces’ because it was out of tune. I was pushing the limits of the cheap beginners guitar that got me excited about playing classical guitar again. The prospect of playing 400 years of music on one instrument goes against the philosophy I’ve lived by for the last twenty years – the right instrument for the right music- yet I can see a way of retaining integrity through an aesthetic of historically-informed perfomance on a modern instrument. The technique I’ve developed through lute and baroque guitar plucking has allowed me to bring something new to the modern classical guitar. Fernando Sor used a similar technique, and he too knew he was swimming against the tide. It might not work for music by Koshkin or Ohana, but why does it have to? Lots of people playing that music already.

I plan to record quite a bit of lute and vihuela repertoire on the modern classical guitar, but to do that I need to upgrade the instrument. Manuel Rodriguez Jr is overseeing a 60cms guitar for me, with an ebony fingerboard (never liked rosewood) and a French polished top. Should arrive in a month. Manuel has been very impressed with the videos I made of the ‘Baby Rodriguez’ guitar, and is giving me a good deal on this new model. Looking forward to it. So I might hold back on recording new pieces until it arrives.

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