A behind-the-scenes look from Duo Noire’s recording session in Brooklyn last summer. This is our recent arrangement of R. Nathaniel Dett’s famous “Juba” dance. It was a common dance performed by slaves on plantations across the south. People would clap and slap their thighs and chests while singing and stomping their feet in 2/4 time (8th + two 16ths). Sometimes a lead fiddler or dancer would show off with increasing virtuosity as the crowd encouraged them. Slaves used their bodies for percussion because they were forbidden from having drums due to a fear that they would transmit coded messages. Glad to share this with the guitar community in the new issue of Soundboard.
From the popular new-music blog I CARE IF YOU LISTEN:
“a unique and entrancing album that exists at the unusual intersection of minimalism and impressive classical guitar technique.”
“The impressive technique displayed by Duo Noire is perfectly suited to Lustig’s delicious compositions, and you wouldn’t regret getting a hold of this; if you like acoustic guitar, bluegrass, minimalism, blues—or music at all—you’ll definitely enjoy this excellently produced and mastered album.”
This is the music video from our new album of Raymond Lustig’s “Figments.” It’s one of my favorite movements from the set of 6. Beautiful slow outer sections with virtuosic craziness in the middle (~1:35). We shot this on a roof in Harlem on what turned out to be the windiest day of the spring. Music stands were flying, hair was blowing, but I’m really happy with how this turned out and am so proud of this album. You can get it at iTunes and CD Baby.
Thrilled to announce that our debut Duo Noire recording has been released. It’s a 35 minute collection of pieces written for us by the acclaimed Juilliard composer Raymond Lustig. This CD is the culmination of a 7 year collaboration and friendship and I am SO PROUD to be on it. The music is cutting edge and totally original, but still accessible, virtuosic, and just all around interesting and fun. Music video coming soon, but until then, check it out here: CD Baby, iTunes.
Back in November my guitar duo with Christopher Mallett, Duo Noire, played an outreach concert at Lyons at Blow Elementary as part of our artist residency for the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society. Recently, the society continued the relationship with the music teacher there, Mark Clark, and donated 40 guitars to the school to begin a classical guitar program. I am absolutely thrilled that Chris and I got to play a part in the truly awesome work that the St Louis Guitar Society and society president Bill Ash are doing. Here is a Fox news video and article about the donation:
And here’s a link to the St Louis Classical Guitar Society where you can make donations to their programs and help them get classical guitars in more low-income public schools!
This past week was action-packed and had us doing concerts in White Plains NY, NYC, and New Haven CT. We had a really good time and met some wonderful musicians. We got to play a double concerto to raise funds for the homeless with the good folks at the Hamden Symphony, perform in the beautiful space of the Downtown at Grace Episcopal Church concert series, and we met some incredibly talented folks when we played at a Juilliard showcase at the Gerswhin Hotel.
The last concert was particularly fun for us because we got to meet up with our dear friend and composer Ray Lustig prior to performing his amazing piece Figments. If there is any place in the US where amazing new classical music is being performed I would definitely have to say the Gerswhin Hotel is surely becoming it.
Next up, we’re heading out to Ohio to play a recital and perform the Vivaldi double concerto with string quartet. It should be a good time and we’ll hopefully have some updates for the blog after the March 20th concert. Feel free to share your thoughts or questions with us via e-mail and maybe we can post responses here. Stay tuned… (hanging out after playing at the Gerswhin—>)