Diary and comments on Introduction To Guitar Craft July, 2003 in Sant Cugat
Montreal, January 14th 2017
This is the 2nd part of my accounts of the introduction to Guitar Craft course in Sant Cugat in 2003. Again, I want to focus on a few experiences that I remember well. I will describe three of them.
A special visit
This occurred towards the end of an intro team meeting with guitars led by Martin in the ballroom. Following the meeting I felt relaxed and noticed a special atmosphere in the room. The door opened and Hernan led a group from the performance project into the ballroom in file. They set up in a semicircle in front of us and played Eye Of The Needle. This performance made a special impression on me. I felt that the group was together and that they played very well. The techniques that we were learning were really in display and I especially noticed the use of hands while playing. I knew that I wanted to be able to play at this level.
Bach at dinner
A performance played during meals that I remember particularly well was Bach’s Prelude in G major played by Ignacio Furones. I remember a particular moment, which was towards the beginning of the piece, when the low E minor arpeggio was played. The impression was strong and energizing. The chord really resonated with me. Afterwards, I spoke with Ignacio to know the name of the piece and made a promise to myself to learn to play it.
The performance challenge
Towards the end of the course, Hernan announced there would be a performance the following evening of new music and chose names from a hat that formed various groups. There were smaller groups of 3 or 4, a solo group and the full intro team group. My first group was a quartet. Although I don’t remember the names of the members, we were from four different countries including Belgium, Spain, England and Canada. The work on the quartet piece was was hard and lasted well into the night. We ended up with a complex piece that required a lot of practice to be able to perform. Hernan asked during a meal how the compositions were going I said “our piece is complex but interesting”. Hernan said: “very good”.
The composition of the full group piece was a different experience. We began by discussing what to do, I suggested we find a style of music, others had other ideas and then all of sudden one of the members suggested a bass line which sounded really cool. The idea came from Andrew Keeling and at that point I didn’t realise that Andrew was actually an accomplished composer. He then suggested other ideas and they were all quite interesting and playable. The piece was well structured with several different sections. There were circulations, riffs, chords a reggae section, arpeggios a bridge section and a coda section. I really enjoyed the piece and felt pretty good about my part.
The evening of the performance came. We played, there were hecklers, I struggled with my parts and at the end Hernan announced that the performance would have to begin again. We left the performance room came back and played our pieces for a second time and this time the audience was very still and did not heckle a bit. We could play in peace! There were great moments, including Andrew’s solo piece and the full group piece which worked very well. Nonetheless, the ease I felt I was developing in practice wasn’t so easily available during performance. I saw the importance of developing reliable technique to be ready for the unexpected, both externally with the audience, the room, etc.. and also internally by controlling my nerves, emotions and thinking.
Matthew Marchant’s first GC Course
Montreal, January 7th 2016
This is about my experience at the intro to GC course in Sant Cugat in July ... Read More