Music to Relax – Ravel, Pavane Pour une Infante Defunte

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving vacation. Getting back to the work grind is going to be tough this week especially for those of you lucky enough to have had some time off for the holiday. Once again my friends I am here to help you chillax and set an aural soundtrack to get you in a groove for the week ahead.

I was first introduced to this piece when I just began ‘serious’ study of music in college. There was an arrangement for a guitar quartet that I was lucky enough to be a part of and have loved this piece ever since. There are several arrangements of the Pavane for a variety of instrumentations including solo piano and guitar. My favorite , in the video below, is a symphonic version. Ravel was a master of instrumentation  as can be heard in this piece and his other compositions such as, “Bolero.”

Ravel along with his contemporary and French countryman, Debussy, were the leaders in the music of the Impressionist movement. A period in music history that generally stretches from 1875-1925.

In my previous Music to Relax Posts, I often mention the words open and space when describing the music. I thought I would expand on that here. Both terms ‘open’ and ‘space’ are multifaceted in musical analysis. They can refer to the rhythm, harmony, melody, texture and orchestration, as well as, any musical parameters. In order of the previous parameters this could mean; longer slow notes, chords that extend over the octave with little dissonance, stately themes and a lush character. This certainly does not mean that relaxing music can’t be dissonant, fast, chromatic, etc. Or that music that doesn’t follow these ideals can’t be relaxing. They are offered as generalizations which are often employed in music widely regarded as relaxing.

Perhaps a good illustration would be in visual arts. If you see a painting that is very busy and confusingly draws your focus in multiple directions it might be considered to raise tension in a viewer. Conversely, a portrait of a pastoral landscape with flowing soft colors and a subject that catches the eye easily would be more relaxing.

Enjoy and relax!

Guitar, Wine & Relaxation…a Black Friday Alternative, A San Diego Guitarists Performance Blog

Once again, I had the pleasure of performing at Orfila Vineyards and Winery in Escondido. This time the day after Thanksgiving.  I really didn’t know what kind of crowd to expect. Would everyone stay home? Be burned out? Turkey hangover? Shopping?

Well, the first sign it was going to be a nice crowd was there was no parking except the overflow. Walking up with my gear, it was packed. That always gets the musician juices flowing. But, it was also nice to see folks using their ‘Black Friday’ to relax. Even better they were supporting some locals over the big box chain stores. Including Orfila, myself and local jewelry maker Katy of KD Custom Jewelry, who’s always a pleasure to work with. Darn Good Food Truck was also there, but, I was so busy I never got a chance to go see what they were all about, sure they were ‘darn good’ though.

With the holiday season upon us, I only have one more scheduled public performance and you guessed it…I will be at Orfila on Dec. 2…3:00 to 5:30 PM. If you haven’t been to Orfila yet it is a must. There is truly something in this valley overlooking the vineyards that always  makes for a great relaxing day. If you are planning any events or weddings definitely take a look here!

Some photos of the day!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Feel Good Friday Guitar at Orfila Vineyards and Winery

Hi Everybody,

Mike Performing at Orfila Vineyards & Winery Jul 14, 2012

I am very excited to be back at Orfila this Friday, August 24, 3:30-6:30 PM.  If you are looking for a great way to unwind and start your weekend off right this is the place. It is so relaxing out in their gardens, overlooking the vineyards and enjoying a glass of wine and some guitar music.  Click here for details.

All ages are welcome.

Two For the Road   ‘Mobile American Comfort Food’ a gourmet food truck will also be on hand.

Hope to see you there and play for you!!