— NEW RELEASE— ALMA from Fire & Grace

Over the last year in the redwoods of Bonny Doon, Fire & Grace found a way to record our third album, Alma. We rehearsed in the fairy rings amongst ancient trees, and we performed in our backyards for small audiences of friends and music lovers. It was a year of finding any and all ways to continue to make music. Out of the ashes of the west coast fires and a global pandemic, we discovered so much incredible music, folk and baroque compositions that we love, and we’re excited to share it with you. This collection of pieces includes music from Argentina, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Sweden. We hope you enjoy.

Libertango is a popular tango by the great Astor Piazolla. On our first recording we offered his composition Oblivion and we have loved performing it for years. Another tango was a no-brainer for us, and in concert we often perform them together.

In the classical guitar world, Asturias is a mountain that many artists endeavor to climb. Originally for solo piano, this piece is magic in the hands of a virtuoso classical guitarist. Our arrangement seeks to bring to life the fire and grace found in the rhythms and melodies, and broaden the range of expression by giving the violin the chance to shred!

On our first CD Fire & Grace offered Winter from the Four Seasons by Vivaldi. Here we present another season in our arrangement of Summer.  

Suite Español continues our journey of arranging the solo music of Bach and blending it with folk music old and new. This suite presents the six movements of the first Cello Suite by JS Bach, arranged for violin with guitar accompaniment. In between each movement of the Suite we offer a melody from Spain. We begin with the Prelude, followed by Mendiokerra, a traditional tune from the Basque region that we learned from Irish flute and whistle wizard Brian Finnegan. We return to Bach for the Allemande and then to Ay Linda Amiga, a 16th century anonymous madrigal. The title translates as My Beautiful Friend. Back to Bach for the Courante and then to Nana which is one of the songs from Siete Canciones Populares Españolas by Manuel De Falla which he composed in 1916. Originally for soprano and piano, this collection is one of the composer’s most popular works, and this song one of the saddest that we have heard. Following is the Sarabande and then on to Malagueña. There are as many versions of this popular Spanish melody as there are people who play it. Well known as a beginning classical guitar piece, our arrangement pulls from various arrangements we have heard over many years. We return to Bach for the Menuet 1 & 2 and then on Muñiera de Chantada, a very well known traditional Galician tune in 6/8 time signature, a Galician jig if you will. This version comes from the recording by the Galician supergroup Milladoiro. Following the ‘Galician jig’ we offer the Gigue by Bach. And finally a new composition from the Galician musician Anxo Pintos called Canro Cru.

Fire & Grace are huge fans of the music of Vasen. We finish this recording with the lovely Tanya’s Tune composed by Roger Talroth, former guitarist of Vasen. ​

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Making Alma was a joy. Here’s a clip from our recording session:

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