The Eternal Mountain is my second collection of compositions for solo guitar. With this album I've endeavoured to extend the range and depth of the musical language sometimes by thematic or motivic development, and sometimes by the juxtaposition of disparate or unexpected elements. The moods range from the very thoughtful to the flippant and, perhaps, even quirky. 1-3 Fujiyama : The Eternal Mountain A visit to Tokyo in 2005 provided the inspiration for this piece - the unforgettable sight of Mt.Fuji caught at sunrise in pastel pink, dominating the city landscape: silent, majestic, timeless. The music carries the suggestion of a story in three parts: I Sengen's Lament : The ancient goddess of Mt.Fuji grieves for what man has done to himself and his world II Breath of Hakone : At Sengen's bidding the volcano erupts in a cataclysm of stinking retribution; III Falling Blossom : But out of the ashes grows a cherry tree which, in it's brief flowering, stands as a delicate symbol of hope and reconciliation. 4-6 Jigge, Reel and Hornipipe A light-hearted dance suite. The central reel subtitled The Wonky Timepiece, features syncopated rhythms reminiscent of a 'hoedown'. It's erratic timings were suggested by the intriguingly wayward behaviour of an old carriage clock I inherited. The outer movements are more English in style but again with elements of the unpredictable. 7 Ballade en Souvenir de Paddy A personal tribute to the thousands of Irish who fought, suffered and died in two world wars whilst serving in the British armed forces, and to my father, Martin who threw his medals in the bin. 8 Layla A little piece to celebrate the arrival of our granddaughter in 2008 : touches of highlife, ragtime and rhumba for her to dance to, possibly. 9-12 South American Suite, 2009 (Homage to H.Villa Lobos The starting point for this suite was Tango, which dates from 1985 and which I played for Leo Brouwer in his masterclass at West Dean in 2009. The idea of a suite was actually Maestro Brouwer's and I am indebted to him both for the suggestion and for his generous encouragement. This set of pieces is not intended in any way to be an emulation of Villa Lobos, rather an acknowledgement of his influence, spiritual as much as stylistic. There are moments of dissonance in all four movements which 'intersect' the prevailing idiom but which I think of as points of reference, rather like cairns on a mountain. The final Divertimento does indeed 'divert' into a bluegrass section and then, later into a lazy ragtime cul-de-sac from which Villa Lobos provides an exit. 13 Tango (with Helen Mills, Flute) Since I first played it as a solo, Tango has undergone a number of transformations including a gypsy-style version for plectrum guitar duo and one for the jazz-fusion band Woodnote. This adaptation for flute and guitar has been the one most frequently played.The simple binary structure makes use of the classic minor-to-major contrast typical of much Spanish-influenced music.