These posts are becoming something of an AG (acronymic graveyard).
I am now in Kentucky at the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) International Convention. I was lucky enough and honoured to be invited via Stephen Mattingly and the Tantalus Quartet, through Martha Masters, to write a piece for the Convention Orchestra (more guitar orchestras – could this be a theme in my musical life?).
I produced “Spectral Dreams”, which is a

Concerto for Guitar Quartet and Guitar Orchestra (“Spectral Dreams”) by Gerald Garcia – World Premiere
     1.Traum Trauermarsch (in memoriam Evan Crawford)
       2. Archipelago (in memoriam Arthur Garcia)
Performed by the Tantalus Quartet and GFA Guitar Orchestra for whom it was written.
  The piece came together very quickly (3-4 weeks) and is (I only realised on completion) in memory of a friend who died very recently (a guitarist and teacher, Evan Crawford). It is also a tribute to my father (Arthur Garcia), who died 2 years ago and the power of the human spirit to find joy despite grief and loss. The two movements are based on the initials EC and AG in various guises! The first movement starts with an (in)famous high tremolo E which Evan uses in his popular arrangement of Borodin’s “In the Steppes of Central Asia” – all this was unconscious when the piece came together. “Archipelago” refers to the Cape Verde and Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa where I was when the music came to me. It is dedicated to the Tantalus Quartet and the wonderful enterprise that is the GFA.

However, from my point of view, it is a wonderful opportunity to meet many old friends – is that Scott Tennant chatting at the bar? Have I just been attacked by Laura Young? Why is Helen Sanderson hiding behind a pillar? What – that’s Danielle Cumming, Martha Masters,  and Matanya (Ophee, of course), and Tanenbaum, and Tom Johnson, Tracy, Tantalus, Maurice Summerfield(!) and Graham Wade – this was all within the first half hour of checking into the sumptuous Louisville Hyatt. Marcin Dylla walks in after standing in for Zoran Dukics. Today I met Greg Byers, Joshia de Jonge,  other guitar makers and Armin Kelly. Dieter Henning played today, followed by a sublime performance by Tantalus (that’s good, they have to play my piece next). Stephen, who is the host this year, is doing extremely well under pressure and the constant threat of tricks being played on him. I then had a coffee with Aniello Desiderio.

Some highlights-
Aniello Desiderio’s Koyunbaba, Darka and Tanja Miric’s Bach, Maurice Summerfield’s talk, Zoran Dukics’ Jose Sonata and encore with Aniello, Laura Young’s Reger Sonata, Bruce Holzman’s Tribute (very touching), the various groups in the ensemble showcase (more guitar groups!), Eliot Fisk’s American Bouquet by Rochberg, Tolgahan Cogulu’s talk on microtonal frets, etc etc

More to come. The sky has turned a dirty yellow and the elegant buildings seen from my hotel room are becoming less visible in the mist. It’s thunder, lightning and heavy rain outside.

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