I received a call late December from a Producer in the U.S. who told me that Zorro would be produced at the Hale Theatre, Salt Lake City. He told me that they would be using backing tracks for the run and that he was in charge of recording the backing tracks. He had previously phoned various Guitarists on the L.A session scene, including the Guitarist who recorded the parts for Zorro the motion picture, without success. At the time, he was using as a reference the original cast recording from the west end and, having no luck finding someone locally, searched out the Guitarist who did the recording – me! So, he called and asked if I would make the trip to Salt Lake City and spend three days in the studio recording all the guitar parts for the show. Of course I jumped at the opportunity and was on the plane from Schipol Airport less than 10 hours after playing the last note of the Dutch tour in Apeldoorn….
It was a great experience and fantastic to work with such professional, talented musicians. Barry Gibbons, the owner of the studios (The MT Pit) collected me at the airport and took me for dinner with his wife and children before I checked in to my hotel. We began recording at 9am the following morning and spent the next three full days in the studio and even the final day before I flew to New York we squeezed another 3 or 4 hours in to polish some bits up.
Barry’s son Michael Gibbons recorded and produced the soundtrack and was an absolute pleasure to work with. He has the enthusiasm of a youngster but the wisdom and knowledge as if he had been in the business for 40 years, a real pro.
All in all, a fantastic experience and a job well don. This was one of those jobs that reminds me why I love doing what I do.
Zorro The Musical started previews at The Garrick Theatre on 30th June 2008 with the official opening (press night) on 15th July 2008.
A lot of changes have been made to the touring version but it’s still a fantastic show. The band remains the same and it’s great to be working with all these excellent artists again.
Come and see us!
In July I taught for a week at The International Guitar Foundation (IGF) in Bath. It was the first time I had taught (or been to) an event organised by IGF. The festival runs for two weeks with courses offered in many styles: classical, flamenco, solo acoustic, singer-songwriter, blues, rock, jazz etc. The courses are run by top names in each genre and there are concerts every night given by teachers of the courses and by invited artists.
I was teaching the Flamenco course and taught sample pieces and falsetas in the following styles: Tangos, Soleares, Bulerías and Fandangos de Huelva. We also covered the following techniques: alzapua, picado and the different types of rasgueado and when to use them.
I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to spend a week or two away indulging themselves in all things guitar. There are students of all ages and levels and a great atmosphere for learning the style you have signed up for and also opportunities for jamming with students on other courses and finding out what they have been learning.
The material I taught on this course will be available on my workshop page shortly. I will be building this section of the site up soon to include sections on technique, harmony and arrangement.
I also got to meet some great people. I had long admired Tristan Seume, an acoustic Guitarist who composes great melodic compositions. I think there are many Guitarists out there who have technical prowess and can play cleanly and extremely fast but it is becoming more of a rarity for these Guitarists to compose beautiful compositions. Tristan does exactly this. We hung out on campus and, naturally, in the pub at the end of the campus entrance and are now starting a duo, adapting some our solo compositions into pieces for two guitars and also composing some new material specifically for the project.
Another great artist I had the pleasure of meeting was Thomas Leeb. I hadn’t heard of Thomas before (I’m not sure why as he seems well-known and all over the magazines) and it was great to discover his music. His course is very popular and gets sold out each year. I sat in on one of his classes and they are very well organised and scored and he covers some great material.
…I aslo met a great sound engineer (and musician) by the name of Stuart McClean. Stuart has a sensitivity not found in many engineers and has plenty of experience of recording guitars. He is currently producing a project I am invloved in – more details to follow in a separate blog.