Congratulations! We all made it through to December.
It’s the end of the year and we’re reching the festive season, so there’s a musical theme for this edition of Simon Says. In case that’s set you worrying, I can reassure you: there are no Christmas songs here.
I’m a person of words, but words have limitations. Some things can be better expressed through different means. In particular, different emotions can be communicated with music.
Each piece I link to below tells a story—and each story is told in a different way.
Each piece has a different melody and takes a different approach to harmony and arrangement. Some are purely instrumental while others have lyrics. Some are solo instruments while others have a band. Some are simple, others are complex.
You get the idea…each piece is different. And on two occasions, I’ve included the same piece played more than once with different interpretations.
Antonio Lauro was a twentieth century composer and (classical) guitarist.
Follow this link and let me introduce you to the music of Antonio Lauro. If you’re not sure where to start, first listen to Ana Florencía. It’s a beautiful lullaby. Move on from there.
All of the pieces here are played by one person with a classical guitar.
If you’re thinking that one instrument and one person means simplicity, you’d be wrong. As you’ll hear, you get the bass, the rhythm, the harmonies, and intertwined melodies all coming at once.
Leathan Wilkey’s Soundtrack
Some music is evocative of time or place. There are two tracks that, whenever I hear them, I think: Leathan Wilkey in Paris.
These tracks are both played by an (electric) band and the melody is more obvious.
Many people have never heard of the singer-songwriter John Martyn.
Much of Martyn’s output was him playing his guitar and singing. On the third piece he swaps his steel-string acoustic for an electric and brings in a upright bass player.
Musically, these pieces are simpler, but with the performance, they are no less effective than any of the apparently more complex pieces.
Whatever you’re celebrating over the next few weeks, I hope you and yours have an enjoyable time.
I’ll be back in 2019.
Until then, all the best