GRAVITY AND AIR (2009)
Gravity and Air spotlights composer Andrew McKenna Lee as a virtuoso performer, performing several of his large-scale works for classical guitar. Five Refractions of a Prelude by Bach takes J.S. Bach’s Prelude for Lute, BWV 999 and “refracts” it into a set of highly elaborate fantasies that map directly onto critical structural and harmonic elements of Bach’s prelude. Scordatura Suite, a collection of three pieces for solo guitar (each in a different tuning), explores parallels between the heavy ornamentation frequently found in Baroque music (especially the keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti) and the heavily improvised, blues-influenced playing of great rock guitarists like Jimi Hendrix. Lee is joined by Janus (Amanda Baker, flute; Nuiko Wadden, harp; Beth Meyers, viola) in the fifteen-minute chamber work, the dark out of the nighttime, a nocturnal essay in plucked and sustained sonorities scored for guitar, flute, viola, and harp.