Over the last 3 months I’ve been writing this piece Twilight, usually in the wee morning hours, before I get to work at guitar making. The piece was just recently completed, at least I‘ve declared it so. It’s tricky knowing when to quit.
During this time I’ve also been taking an online composition course with my friend Johannes Möller. This course is a live Zoom meeting between composers around the world, led by Johannes. It’s a very interesting thing. Johannes is in Sweden these days, and there are student participants in Romania, Germany, Mexico City, South Africa, California, Australia, China, Bangladesh and India — all live on screen. The only downside is that for me it happens at 5:00AM on Sunday morning. The upside is that I’m usually up at that time working on music anyway.
But the more significant upside is that I get to meet weekly with all of these really talented people around the world. The quality and beauty of what each person is doing is very good, surprising and varied. It’s a unique opportunity and really a whole new way of learning and getting together. There is no scenario that all of these talented people would be together in person, and it is stimulating and inspiring to have these online relationships.
I want to thank Johannes Moller for conceiving this and making it happen. He has been a most supportive and helpful teacher, and everyone who takes this class gets a lot out of it. If you are interested in guitar composing you should look into it on his social media. It has been very good for me.
And now, beyond that, Johannes recently made a beautiful video recording of this piece Twilight. I’m really proud to have it played so eloquently by such a masterful player and composer and friend. It's deeply gratifying. I’m delighted to share the recording here. The sheet music is available from me as PDF and will be in book form very soon. I hope you like it!
Over the past three seasons I've spent more time alone, and often sitting outdoors in the twilight of the end of daylight, and of the dawn. My back yard is a lovely nature environment hosting all sorts of plants and birds and animals passing through. At any moment there is a changing texture of sounds from the sky, the trees, the bushes, the ground, a layering both random and expectant — a poetry, or a sonata. This changes with the weather, the length of the days, the wind, with the rolling population and life cycle of critters. These nature songs are most animated as the day is coming and when the day is going. There’s a language, tales of drama and peace, a music that nature is playing without any concern for our human stories of hopes and anxieties. This is somehow reassuring amid tension and seeming chaos swirling around. Twilight the music is just a mood piece suggesting some of the comings and goings, the overlays and counterpoints of sounds outside my home. This piece is not too difficult to play, except maybe the passage beginning with measure 93. There is an annoying reach at the end of measure 97, but with practice it is do-able. Throughout this section it takes some extra attention to suppress the ringing of the D natural from the open fourth string. That can be intrusive. For a time I kept thinking that noise was my cell phone vibrating on the table. It just needs some strategic open-string damping. Watch Johannes Möller 'Twilight' Performance Here