What are some recent projects that you’ve been working on?
Well, I’m working on a new CD. This time I am recording it little by little. It might even end up being more self-produced because I really want to do it just like I am imagining it. I’m always working slowly, carefully, because I want to do something good, and I don’t want to rush. It’s not like there is a record label saying what I should do, how long of a time I should spend on it, and what pieces to play. I don’t like that!
The program on this project is very dear to me. It is all music written in Paris, today. There are some great new composers here. This is music written for me by my friends, basically, who are not all guitarists. The compositions in this project are heavy, difficult solo pieces. One of them is by my friend Atanas Ourkouzounov who was my colleague when I was teaching in Paris. Other composers on this album are Jules Matton, Camille Pépin, Matthieu Stefanelli, Karol Beffa, and Orestis Kalampalikis. They all live in Paris. They are all people that I met at parties, concerts, whatever, but people that I knew before working with them on this very personal project for me. I don’t think this will sell very well. It’s not at all about that; that’s not the idea.
I must say with a lot of modesty, that I like what Segovia and Bream did. They asked a lot of composers to write something for them. That is what created the music that we play today. Segovia and Bream were working with composers they admired, but mostly with composers they knew personally. I don’t think it’s worth it to play concerts with just this type of music, because the music is very difficult. The music is very tonal. It’s not something crazy and out there. Probably the most mysterious language is in the Atanas Ourkouzounov piece. The rest is very accessible. Three of the pieces were composed during Covid. This project was really a lot of work. And I’m very proud of it. I wanted to make something for myself, but something that I hope will end up being for all guitarists. I say all this with a lot of modesty. I want to continue this tradition of asking composers that we know personally to write something for us. Also, I’m trying to reach other composers, not only guitarist-composers.
Another big project that I was part of just came out with the Opera of Dallas. I was playing with a singer, mezzo-soprano Marina Viotti. We did four days last summer in Switzerland and recorded eight pieces during that time. The pieces were for guitar, mezzo-soprano, cello, also saxophone and percussion. The music was not only classical. There is a little bit of jazz, there is a little bit of Japanese music, and there is some Latin American music in there. A lot of Spanish music as well, but not only classical transcriptions. It is something very creative. For me, it was completely out of my comfort zone, but I really enjoyed it. The full concerts are available on the Opera of Dallas website.
[External link: quatuoreclisses.com]