Scordatura Suite
for guitar
I. Arabescata  II. Gravity and Air  III. Dizzying Array
Year: 2002
Duration: 18'
First Performance: 11 May 2004 Taplin Auditorium- Princeton, NJ
  Andrew McKenna Lee, guitar
Special Notes: 3 tunings required (from low to high): I. DADGAD  II. CGDAAD  III. AAEGDE

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Program Notes

Scordatura Suite is a collection of three pieces for solo guitar, each in a different tuning. Scordatura tunings provide a much greater diversity of harmonic and contrapuntal possibilities on the guitar, an instrument which has a large, but limited, number of intervallic combinations available to the left hand. By altering the tuning of the instrument, different chords and voicings become possible that would not be otherwise, and I find that the different tunings help me to think “outside the box” of what my hands might end up doing naturally as I improvise. The interplay between improvisation and composition turned out to be a crucial part in the creative process of these pieces, and the performer is encouraged to take certain liberties with particular passages and expressive elements of the score in performance.

In spite of having studied the classical guitar seriously for a number of years, these pieces are somehow deeply connected to my early experiences as a rock guitarist. The guitar represents a very intuitive and physical side of my music making, while my ensemble works, which I hope are no less visceral, grow out of ideas and expressions of sound that I hear internally. It is my hope that by somehow combining these two different creative approaches, I will ultimately come to a deeper and more personal musical language as a composer.




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