Born in 1960, Melbourne,
Australia, Shaun Rigney is a composer
whose output includes orchestral, chamber,
instrumental and electronic music.
The music on this new
release is very "guitaristic"
and gives one the impression that the
composer is a guitarist, a composer
very familiar with the guitar repertory,
or who closely collaborates with a guitarist.
Information accompanying this recording,
and other general media releases, confirm
the validity of the latter two. Five
original compositions are presented
and the source from which Mr Rigney
drew for inspiration is worthy of note.
In this piece the composer
imagined a musical language that would
fuse the elements of baroque counterpoint
with impressionist chromatic harmony.
The word ‘Girasol’ in English means
both sunflower and fire opal, and betrays
Greek and Latin roots:guyre and
sol, literally "spiralling
sun" A sunflower has a spiral at
its start. The capitulum, the large
disc at the flower’s centre, shows florets
arranged according to the mathematical
sequence known as the Fibonacci series.
The Garden of
Forking Paths (2001)
The inspiration for
this composition was a short story by
the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges
of the same title. The title suggests
to the composer a garden where each
fork in the path leads to a different
landscape. The landscapes change but
the main theme representing the walker
in the labyrinth remains recognisable
however transformed with each recurrence.
Sonata in E Major
A homage to Joaquín
Rodrigo who was a significant source
of inspiration to a young aspiring composer.
Concerto for Guitar
This concerto takes
its name from the beautiful blue gemstone
lapis lazuli often found flecked
with "fool’s gold" - iron
pyrites. The images and colours influence
the concerto, e.g. the sparkling of
fool’s gold is suggested by the glockenspiel.
Ten Coastal Scetches
This set of miniatures
was inspired by recollections of the
Southwest coast of Australia. They reflect
the composer’s fascination with Australian
flora and fauna.
end point –
duet for guitar and oboe (1997)
This little elegy is
a farewell to a home of ten years; a
tiny apartment in a Melbourne suburb
dominated by a bright red carpet floor
covering with particular significance.
A number of outstanding
Australian composers have already established
their credentials internationally. Shaun
Rigney represents a younger generation
of Australian composers who are writing
material of a high standard and who
will ultimately win international recognition.
The guitarist Slava
Grigoryan born 1976 in Khazakstan, migrated
with his family to Australia in 1981.
In addition to an extensive discography
as a soloist, he also concertises and
records with Saffire: The Australian
Guitar Quartet. On this recording he
conveys an impression of strong empathy
with the music and enjoyment in its
execution. His technical and musical
command of the material are impressive.
The music presented
on the disc has a strong contemporary
tonal flavour, and will appeal to a
wide range of listeners. If your ambition
to visit Australia with its world-renowned
beaches and coastal topography remains
unfulfilled, "Ten Coastal Scetches"
[3-12] will aurally transport you there.
Combining new compositions
of wide appeal and excellent guitar
playing, this new release on the ABC
Classics label can be enthusiastically