So I arranged a piece by Amy Cheney Beach called Eskimos. In the same time period that Debussy and Ravel were creating their tendrils of Impressionism using eastern folk music and airy harmonies,Beach was developing in a very similar way in the USA. Eskimos is a wonderful example of this. This piece takes Inuit folk songs from the Labrador and Alaska territories and mixes it with herromantic harmonies. And it fits beautifully on two guitars. It’s. Been in one form for a long time, with a lot of changes worked in by hand, so God help me if I ever lose the working manuscript thatI have now.
One of the things that I’ve learned is that one should not be afraid to go beyond drop D for the 6th string. By getting over this fear I was able to keep all but one key original. And even then it was only altered by a half step for upper range problems. If handled correctly the lower tuning of the 6th string brings out a whole new world of sympathetic vibrations in keys that are actually considered guitar friendly. (Think C major, F major, B minor etc)
What one does need to be prepared for is the key changes between movements, and major re-tunings between movements is NOT a good idea. Even working with Gerald Klicksteins tuning method doesn‘t always guarantee a stable landing on the new pitch. So after finally accepting this and talking to musicians wiser than myself (ahchm Thomas Müller-Perring) I’ll be changing the tuning before pitching it for publishing.
The next project will be The Trio Sonata BWV 529 by the big kahuna himself. Bach is difficult no matter what side you approach from. Making it playable for two guitars had been a fun challenge. So far the plan is to transcribe to A Major from C Major, keep the current contrapuntal spacing, and SOMEHOW fit in the bass voice.... some how. Questions> Only one guitar down to A? Split the phrases between the guitars? Keep it in A for all three movements? Is A really the right way to go? What should I have for dinner? Why did I start this project? Maybe I should just switch to de la Guerre...