Guitars and dance go together like two sides of a coin; from the Spanish guitarists of old, to the Rock era and on to the Pop world of the 21st Century.
As a guitarist I have innately understood this connection. As a composer I have often mused on how modern art-music strayed so far from mainstream taste during the 20th Century. Perhaps the best way for it to re-connect in the new digital world is by a return to the dance.
Return to the Dance is a new set of original solo guitar works by performer-composer Michelle Nelson. Much of the disc explores the traditional link between guitars and dance-forms, including The Guitarists Bach, an award-winning work that pays homage to JS Bach, in the style of a baroque guitar suite.
The title suite is a four-movement work in the style of the 17th Century Spanish guitar. Movements 1 & 3 feature the percussionist Mark Murphy on bongos, whilst the fourth is an electro-acoustic treatment of multiple guitar phrases, juxtaposing the older rhythms of the first three movements with the trance-dance feel of electronic music.
The middle section of the album features the beautiful Ice Crystals suite for solo guitar. The stillness of movements 1, 2 & 4 contrast with the flowing arpeggio lines of the 3rd & 5th to create a work that truly captivates the inner-ear.
The albums cover image is El Majo de la guitarra by the 18th Century Spanish master Francisco Goya. This image reflects the inspiration of both the title suite and the vibrant Dances for the New World.