wilbeau picture
by wilbeau
on February 16, 2019

This piece was inspired by a quote from Solar Storms – one of Linda Hogan’s novels: “tears have a purpose, they are what we carry of the ocean, and perhaps we must become the sea, give ourselves to it, if we are to be transformed.” One of the greatest living poets, Hogan can in one phrase dissolve the barriers between animate and inanimate; past and future; or interior and exterior. I have written two song cycles using her poems: Truth of Matter and Rounding the Human Corners, * both of these are for low voice and guitar.

wilbeau picture
by wilbeau
on January 17, 2017

The next set of blog posts will reflect a recent work I have composed. Each song from the project will be presented in turn. Because singing sends thoughts into the soul of another person, the choice of text is vital. I look for texts that reflect my notion of the sacred: the wonder of life, love of children, and our need for community. It is a privilege to take such notions into meaningful lyric expressions.

wilbeau picture
by wilbeau
on July 20, 2016

I believe we have to rehearse differently depending on our state of mind. In order to process lots of data effectively we must be alert and have the necessary energy to do so. For this reason learning new pieces or new habits requires more energy while reviewing older pieces takes less.

wilbeau picture
by wilbeau
on June 30, 2016

…from nests the owls called…” Linda Hogan

Saturday, June 4, 2016
Event Title: The Charke/Cormier Duo presents a Contemporary Showcase
  • Region: Atlantic
  • Venue / Location: Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance, Lunenburg, NS
  • Time: 8:00pm
  • Price: $26.10 +tax
  • Genre: Mixed Chamber Ensembles (1-9 Performers)
  • External Link: LAMP
Description:

The Charke/Cormier Duo presents a Contemporary Showcase.

Join JUNO and ECMA award winner Derek Charke, teaching at the LAMP Composition Academy, for a program of contemporary music performed with guitarist Eugene Cormer.

Toward the Sea (1981) – Toru Takemitsu
Wired & Released (2013) – Derek Charke
Musiques Populaires Brésiliennes (1988) – Celso Machado
The Engine Continuum (2013) – Derek Charke
Ex Tempore (2016) – Derek Charke ~ World Premiere
Histoire du Tango (1986) – Astor Piazzolla

About the Charke/Cormier Duo:

wilbeau picture
by wilbeau
on May 9, 2016

I have been thinking this week about finger stability [which has been discussed here before] because of a need to improve my playing for a concert on Saturday night. When moving our fingers quickly, we think about getting from one note to the next. It is hard to think of anything else, speed is one of those things that create many worries for even the advanced guitarist. To visualize either hand changing notes seven times a second, for example, is a formidable task.

wilbeau picture
by wilbeau
on April 28, 2016

“with nothing but a story, and time” – Linda Hogan

As you learn and work on a piece of music the narrative flow becomes the driving force for an interpretation. Sometimes it takes a very long time to find the best way to deliver a passage. Yesterday I was playing one of my own pieces, a fairly easy one, and realized I was rushing into a section, that it needed to start more like coming into a turn while driving before speeding up. It seemed so obvious as this registered and now I have to figure out why it took so long to discover that basic notion.

wilbeau picture
by wilbeau
on April 23, 2016

Sometimes there is a bit of shame, in the last few weeks I have been practicing and recording improvisations. When you are trying ideas for the first time peculiar things happen. Today for example, playing along with my eyes closed I could have sworn my fingers were at the 2nd fret but they were really at the 5th. Other times I began to play a line that was clear for the first few notes then got fuzzy, resulting in lots of clicks and confusion. At times I have taken the Miles Davis approach – “there are no mistakes”. I just repeat the click and try to make it a feature of the passage.

wilbeau picture
by wilbeau
on March 21, 2016

I have started falling in love with flats. A guitar player tends to find them hard to enjoy because in regular tuning they mean lots of barre chords and sore hands. In altered tunings things can change and one of the pieces on my latest CD is in G minor [2 flats]. I have just written another piece filled with flats: a birthday card for my wife. It opens and closes in a sharp key [G maj], but even that section is contains a great many flats.

wilbeau picture
by wilbeau
on March 7, 2016

I had a very special experience while playing a concert on the weekend: it seemed like a good idea to open with an improvisation. The spontaneous creation led straight into the first programmed work winding up on the first note of the opening piece. Something told me to wait for the nervous energy to dissipate before moving into the official program. The transition worked remarkably well, putting me right into the zone where I could give maximum expression the to programmed work.