International Guitar Research Centre Conference 2016- Day 4

Day 4 – Monday Mar 21, 2016.

Another incredibly busy and informative day of guitar, research and music at #IGRCSurrey 2016.

To start the morning, Aliexsey Vianna presented a lecture-recital titled  “Unaccompanied Improvisations – The multi-textural nature of the guitar”in which he presented his analysis of some fundamental techniques used by two of the most prolific classical guitar improvisers: Ralph Towner and Dusan Bogdanovic. Inspiring to hear such strong advocacy for improvisation on the classical guitar, from such a great player. Joe Bell followed Alieksey, presenting on the improvisational techniques for fretted and fretless instruments. With examples from Persian, Arabic and Indian repertoire, alongside jazz materials, Joe discussed  methods of improvisation, the relationship of improviser to materials and structures, and meditational methods related to performance.

At 11am,  there were three papers presented on Jazz Guitar topics; Tom Williams, one of my IGRC PostGrad colleagues, presented a paper titled “Filling In the F Holes: A topography of the contemporary jazz guitar-scape”, during which he provided a highly informative analysis of the contemporary jazz guitar scenes, including the exponents, music and strands which interweave to create the richly diverse idiom that exists today. Mark McKnight and Ant Law both presented excellent papers related to the exploration of creativity and composition in Jazz.

The afternoon featured a panel discussion on “The Electric Guitar: Pedagogy, Diversity and Virtuosity”. This panel brought together a group of electric guitar educators and practitioners to discuss a range of themes surrounding the electric guitar including issues of literacy, pedagogy, virtuosity,diversity and technology. The panelists were Bridget Mermikides, Mike Outram, John Wheatcroft, Amy Brandon, Jason Sidwell, Neville Marten, Mark McKnight and myself, and the panel was chaired by Milton Mermikidies.

After the panel, I had a chance to spend a little time with Matt Buchanan and Guy Traviss, discussing their exciting work on an upcoming  documentary project on the acoustic-percussive fingertsyle guitar movement. More details can be found here:

Jan De Kloe, today’s keynote speaker, discussed symbolism in the music of J.S.Bach and finally the  ‘Ant Law Trio’  delivered an incredible jazz show to end the night.


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