This will be the first of what I think will be a number of posts that will discuss the link between eastern and western music on the classical guitar. In some ways it is the easiest one to write because it details a Lancaster connection to a very long tradition of musical cross pollination.
I first heard the phrase “east meets west” in relation to an album by Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin which featured two master musicians of different traditions making music together.
At about the time that the CGSL was forming, a student of Ernesto Tomayo, Matt Bacon, was starting out on a journey that would take him first to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and then to the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Most recently it finds him as a member of the faculty at the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, India.
In December of 2018 Matt was back at home in Lancaster and one of his visits was to the CGSL where he performed at a private salon for the members. One of the highlights of that performance was Matt’s performance of one of the Etudes he had written for a book entitled Elements of Indian Music. The book documents the theory of the Indian tonal system and provides examples of how the theory would be incorporated into actual musical examples.
If you would like to see Matt perform one of these pieces, and read a little bit about the book you can try this link. It will take you to Guitar Salon International site where there is a video of Matt playing one of the Indian inspired pieces on a 2017 Felipe Conde Crespo guitar, and a little bit more about the book.