Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Prospect of a Future Guitar

The Prospect of a Future Guitar from Mickael Viegas on Vimeo.

This is a fascinating project from guitarist Michael Viegas, which involves performances and arrangements (by Viegas) of Villa's complete music for guitar. These are based on his theories of the limitations of the instrument and the addition of both melodic and harmonic material which from a close study of the scores Viegas feels might have been the composer's true intentions. The guitarist overdubs additional guitar parts, and he also mentions 'orchestrations' though there are no details of these included in the video. As well, Viegas brings up the possibility of a future re-design of the guitar (hence the name of the album: The Prospect of a Future Guitar) which might make live performance of the the kind of music he envisions a possibility.

The album recording was completed in November of 2014, and Viegas was busy with post-production during 2015. The album is not due to be released until later this winter. The only online source I've found so far is at, which shows a release date of February 19, 2016. Here are the front and back covers of the two-CD set:

I look forward to a discussion of what this approach might mean for this amazing but perhaps over-familiar music. The law of diminishing returns might be in operation here, when nearly every guitarist records at least the Preludes and first Choros, and often the complete music for guitar. It's sometimes hard to find a marketing niche, if not a special way of playing the music. From the very musical and well-played clips included in the video the album, and its underlying radical rethinking of Villa's music, promises at least to be a shot in the arm for this well-worn music. 

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