The atelier : a collection of new music for guitar
by Michael Knopf (2017)
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Library shelf no. 787.87/KNO 13 [Available for loan]
The Atelier is a collection of ninety solo guitar pieces that were written over a seven week period in early 2017. The title of the collection reflects this natural state of being for the artist - engaged in art making as an essential quotidian experience. My workshop was the daily exercise of my compositional creative practice exploring concepts, strategies and aesthetics, albeit in a constrained time frame. My aim was to write a piece or two per day. As a result, the pieces are most often of a brief, evocative nature characterized by essential ideas or techniques. This being the case, the pieces' development and form are most often akin to "inventions" than say, fully thematically explored compositions, though each is complete in itself.
The purpose of the project was firstly a personal one: to write and create new music for my instrument of choice, the guitar on a daily basis. Secondly, I don't think there is ever enough of good music, and these pieces aim to diversify the repertoire with concise works characterized by nuance, style, and gesture. Though some are specifically studies, all are explorations of style and genre and the guitar's particular idiosyncracies.
The works embody this latter as an obvious ethos in my work - approached with craftsmanship and a concern for clarity. Some focus on contemporary art music strategies such as minimalism, modernism, and experimentalism. Others are from my "chant style" for guitar. Then, there are Latin American and Flamenco inspired pieces, a Rock-fusion piece and a funky Blues. Sub-collections of pieces within the opus may be garnered to create performance suites where particular works compliment others in terms of mood, style or compositional strategy. The three Jazz ballad "Musings" combine well as one example.
I would like the music to be viewed and shared, and freely played and recorded and so invite community involvement from professionals and students alike to engage the music. Queries and comments are welcome so feel free to contact the composer.
Difficulty: Advanced — Varying requirements for each piece.
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