Just Released! “VIGNETTES, Short Pieces for Accordion”
|by Joan Grauman
|Today is March 20, 2020. I am truly honored and delighted to be sitting at
my computer writing about Guy Klucevsek’s amazing just released new
masterpiece for the accordion world! It has been so hard to concentrate
on ANYTHING other than international virus concerns lately— and I am
certain many, if not all of you, can relate!! You can most likely also relate to
where my mind is heading now: time to relearn how to use our time and
energies wisely and creatively as we stay in our homes 24/7, and pray that
when this virus is no longer a concern (soon, I hope!!), we will all be
healthy and more appreciative human beings ….and better accordionists!
I can think of no better way to start improving your musical skills and boost your spirits than to head to your computer (hmm…you are most likely using it right now), find the website “starkland.bandcamp.com" and order Guy Klucevsek’s “VIGNETTES, Short Pieces for Accordion”, a truly delightful and mesmerizing book containing 24 of Guy’s compositions for accordionists of all skill levels. Even before you take a look or listen to the first piece, the titles of these short gems will surely bring a smile to your face (check out “Eleven Large Lobsters Loose in the Lobby”)! Be sure to also order the supplemental recordings, which are included in the price of the book, exquisitely performed by Guy and several fine fellow accordionists.
Joe Natoli, well-known accordionist and close friend of Guy’s, summed up the essence and joy of delving into this compilation so beautifully:
"As a fellow composer, I have watched Guy's musical output take shape over many years, since we first met and became fast friends in the late 1970s. His diversity of thought, his love of the accordion, and love of music are immediately apparent when listening to and/or performing each of these amazing little gems."
Composition List1. Puppet Song (Song for the other Guy)
4. Birthday Waltz Elegy
6. Verret's Valse
7. Gringo Star
8. Spin Cycle
9. For the First Time
10. Eleven Large Lobsters Loose in the Lobby
11. Feel the Bern
12. Seesaw Song
13. Prelude No. 1
14. Prelude No. 2
15. Music of Chants
17. The Landscape Listens
18. Gimme a Minute, Please (My Sequins Are Showing)
19. The Silence
20. Some of that Old Time Soul Polka
21. For Lars, Again
22. The C&M Waltz
23. Dear Werner
24. As They Waltz off into the Sunset
|CD by Guy Klucevsek.|
"As far as I know, this is Guy's first attempt at his own personal publishing project and like everything Guy does, he put his heart and soul into it,
achieving the amazing results of an absolutely beautiful keepsake
publication. The artwork, the pictures, the quality of the printed pages, and
the printed music itself all combine to provide a very special, nostalgic, and
artistic walk through Guy’s life. Enjoy and cherish your copy. I know I will
do the same with mine. Congratulations Guy on producing this artistic
Guy Klucevsek’s BioGuy Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly respected accordionists. A composer as well as accordion virtuoso, he has performed and/or recorded with the American Composers Orchestra, Laurie Anderson, Alan Bern, Brave Combo, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, the Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, A. R. Rahman, Tom Waits, John Williams and John Zorn; appeared as a guest on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood; and accompanied soprano Renee Fleming at the memorial service for Senator John McCain.
Guy’s group Accordion Tribe — a quintet of international composers/accordionists Bratko Bibic (Slovenia), Lars Hollmer (Sweden), Maria Kalaniemi (Finland) and Otto Lechner (Austria) — released three albums, and is the subject of Stefan Schwietert’s documentary film, Accordion Tribe: Music Travels.
Guy waa commissioned by the AAA for “Three Tributes”, which was a wonderful trilogy, in 2016. He premiered this at our fest in Buffalo, NY.
Guy Klucevsek has written over 100 pieces for accordion, not only for the concert hall, but for collaborations with choreographers, theatre artists, and filmmakers as well. His discography includes 23 recordings as soloist, leader, and co-leader on Starkland, Tzadik, Winter & Winter, Innova, Review, Intuition, CRI and XI.
He is the recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Collins Fellowship, “recognizing the most compelling artists working and living in the United States.”
|First picture ever taken of Guy Klucevsek with accordion, aged 5 in New Jersey.|
|Guy and Jan Klucevsek on their wedding day, 1969.|
The easiest part for Guy was matching players with pieces he wrote specifically for them: Alan Bern, Will Holshouser, John Torcello, Jeanne Velonis, Nathan Koci and Dallas Vietty. With his older pieces, he chose players who he felt could really capture the style and mood of a piece: Paul Schuberth, Cory Pesaturo, Joe Natoli, and Alex Meixner. Guy played several of the compositions as well. Joe Natoli was chosen for “For the First Time” as this one was written for free bass and is a jazz ballad, and Joe excels at both.
Another example: Cory Pesaturo was chosen to play “Gimme a Minute, Please (My Sequins Are Showing)” dedicated to the Swingle Singers. “I absolutely KNEW that Cory would nail the sound and off-beat rhythmic feel of this piece,” Guy said. Alex Meixner was chosen for the beautiful “C&M Waltz” because he plays this style of Slovenian - American waltz so authentically and beautifully.
What a terrific group of musicians playing a terrific and uplifting compilation of delightful pieces ranging from gentle waltzes to jazz to classical!
|Below is the Table of Contents and of interest for accordionists is the designation of the Free Bass or Stradella (Standard) Bass alongside each composition. Some pieces are composed with a Free Bass edition and a Stradella Bass edition.|
|Dallas Vietty was truly honored to be included: "For my entire life as an accordion player, Guy Klucevsek’s music has been a creative inspiration to me. There is a freshness, energy, and personal style to Guy’s music that has always drawn me in and made me feel welcome."|
|Guy himself played 12 of the 24 pieces. Most of these were recorded in his home by his close friend Jeanne Velonis, who he describes as a "brilliant engineer and lover of the accordion." Jeanne lovingly described the experience: "Essentially, I turned the house into a recording studio….. There are some challenges to living-room recordings. We had to unplug the phone and remove the clock and turn off the air conditioning on a very, very hot day, and bells of the neighboring church went off every 30 minutes! For all that, the sessions went smoothly and we all had a great time."|
|The book itself is beautiful!
Filled with engaging comments and photos, explanations of musical terms and, of course, the 24 terrific compositions. The pages of the book are of a heavy stock, so there is no print through, and it is wire bound so it will open flat on a music stand and to facilitate page turns. It is available both in hard copy format and as a digital download file, so it can be ordered online from anywhere in the world, and it can be read from either a music stand or a digital tablet. The book comes with audio recordings of each piece, which will be available only as digital downloads.
Go to: www.starkland.bandcamp.com. You can order the book there and also read more about Guy Klucevsek in the fascinating Press Release! To order the HARD COPY book (and remember to ask for the supplemental recordings), please go to:
|Guy Klucevsek at his finest before a stellar audience of famous US accordion dignatories
at the 2009 AAA Lifetime Achievement Award for Faithe Deffner.
|I, too, have always enjoyed Guy as an amazing composer, performer and good friend, and I know what I will be practicing and listening to for the next several months! In the words of Dallas Vietty, "Guy’s music makes me want to play the accordion."|
|Stay well, everyone, and keep playing those accordions!!|