Gerald Garcia (b. 1949)
Celtic Airs is areworking and amplification of guitar and flute duets which I made in 1978. Themusic comes from two main sources -Rune of the Weaver, Cuan ag Eirighand Heman Dubh are tunes from the Outer Hebrides, which Ihave visited many times, and the arrangements attempt to conjure up the worldof wind and waves which make up most of the Hebridean experience. The remainingpieces are Irish and are influenced by the sound of the Celtic harp and fondmemories of musical sessions in pubs in Oxford and Dublin..
The EtudesEsquisses began life as studies for the intermediate guitarist, but as moreof them came into being (at the rate of one a day) I realised that this was anopportunity to learn about guitar composition and sonority in a concisecontext. The title of the collection - Esquisses - can mean sketches,which indicates my original attitude to them. The titles of the originalpieces, which were added afterwards are mainly whimsical, being multilingual puns,but they also often indicate the in original inspiration for the composition.
For instance: Les Ajoncs d'Or (Golden Gorse) was written in Normandyduring a particularly warm spring, when the gorse was in full flower in a rivervalley called Les Ajoncs d'Or; Le Grand Brasseur (The Great Brewer)is a homage to the composer Leo Brouwer; I'Hommage d'un Hommage (Homageof a homage) is a reference to Le Tombeau de Debussy, the only guitarcomposition of Manuel de Falla; Milles Anges (a thousand angel) is a homageto Astor Piazzolla and refers to his penchant for naming tangos after angels aswell as to the fact that it is a mixture of keys (melange) and amilonga. Othertitles refer to countries e.g. Cafe Venezolano, Terre Noire (South Africa)or other compositions - Apres midi d'un Cafard (Afternoon of aCockroach), L' Amour Soucoupier (Love the Saucerer). I hope that youmight have a diverting time working out the other titles.
When I heardthat John Holmquist was interested in performing and recording the Esquisses,I was doubly pleased - first, because he is a dear friend who has knownthese pieces from the beginning, and second because he is one of the mostmusical guitarists of our day, who puts his considerable technical skill at theservice of a sensitive and penetrating musical imagination. Any composer wouldfeel safe in his interpretive hands, and I would say that this recording isabout as close as you can get to the original conception of these pieces. Aslistener, you complete the trinity of musical experience started by thecomposer and performer - enjoy!
@ 1997 Gerald Garcia
Etudes Esquisses is published by ABGPublications, 16 Parker Street, Oxford UK and Mel Bay Publications,#4 Industrial Drive, Pacific MO 63069-0066 USA.