This is my first work for guitar. It is another synthesis of my atonal voice, and original blues.
It is ironic perhaps that I have been playing guitar for over fifty years and—besides some early blues instrumentals written and notated clumsily before I could read music, and some songs for which the guitar was mostly accompaniment -- I never really composed for the guitar.
I am beginning to come to terms with my instrument in an entirely new way. I feel like I am finally beginning to listen to my guitar of fifty years, understanding how she thinks, and discovering her in entirely new ways— exciting.
After playing clubs for nearly ten years, I remained an inveterate improvisor and composer... my ideas came by ear and by mystery ... And so, when it finally came down to notating the personal blues style that I had cultivated for guitar over many years, I was at a loss. My earliest attempt at a score was more a cry for help!
But I believe that now I might have come up with the first work for guitar that successfully combines blues ethos with atonality -- importantly, one with no improvisation whatever!... all blues nuances are notated clearly. It will probably not be the easiest score to learn, but I hope that it will someday stand as a legitimate entry into the classical guitar repertory-- a place not very well-known to the blues. My intrepid, talented editor Isaac Green has helped me a lot in this process.
Blues is a deceptively complex music. The bends, shakes, and rhythmic "quirks"are deeply expressive in the hands of a blues master, but evade the standard notations of western music. It was necessary for me to invent symbols --with descriptions carefully explained in the preface of the score --to effectively communicate to the performer how he or she might make these magical sounds come alive.