PROGRAM NOTES Between 2005-2010 I have traveled extensively throughout South America, Central America and North America. The beauty of each place I visit is amazing and so different. In this recording I have expressed my respect, curiousity and love for the lands and people that I have visited. My favorite instrument is the guitar, which one of the most popular instruments in North America, South and Central America. Because I play concerts and record frequently with my friend, Mark Delpriora, outstanding guitarist. I am fortunate to hear my music performed by him and he has inspired me to compose for the guitar soloistically. I love many styles of music and as a result I am inspired by classical, world, jazz, rock, folk, blues music styles. This recording begins with Brazilian Sounds for flute, cello and guitar. In 2009 I visited a Brazilian village on the banks of the Christolina River( a tributary of the Amazon River). Several mornings we left with our local guide for hikes into the jungle. The animals and insects created a colorful and inspiring symphony of new sounds. Along with truly being in awe of my surroundings I also felt fear. The first morning we saw a baby Harpy Eagle which is enormous and it's even bigger parents in a tree next to where we were standing. To give you an idea of the size of these magestic birds, Harpy Eagles eat monkeys. Monkeys were skittering just above our heads in the thick canopy. In the afternoon we headed toward the river. The sun was up and we went on the Christolina River in a small boat. I felt relaxed on the river until our guide excitedly pointed at the close right embankment where a 42 foot anaconda lay. It had just eaten and was not moving. We paddled closer so my friends could take photos; I was hyperventilating and praying. Finally we paddled away and continued a great river ride. There were so many species of birds, capybaras, giant otters, choruses of frogs and caimen. Several days into our trip I composed Brazilian Sounds for flute, cello and guitar. All the sounds and emotions of the last several days came flooding into this music. A week later I was thinking about the habitat destruction in the Amazon. There are oil riggs, soapsuds and other man-made debris in the Amazon River near the larger towns which threaten to destroy the magic of this region. Tears of the Amazon for flute, cello and guitar expresses the sadness that I and many other people feel when we see this gradual loss of one of the most important eco-systems on our planet. When we returned to Tennessee we visited several lakes and took hikes on the different terrains of Tennessee. One of these hikes inspired Rocky Shores for flute and guitar. Tennessee is a very exciting place in terms of weather. It rains almost every day. A Walk In The Rain for flute and harp was composed immediately after taking an afternoon strolls with my four delightful Maltese. That winter as it snowed I was listening to recordings of various Celtic folk singers and was inspired to compose Celtic Snowflakes for flute and harp. The Jabiru Suite for flute and cello musically describes scenes from my first trip to the Pantanal in Brazil. The Pantanal is our planet's largest wetland ( 75,000 square miles). It extends into the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso and into some of Bolivia and Paraguay. So far 12 sub-regional ecosystems have been identified. The Jabiru (see photo) is the tallest flying bird found in South and Central America. It's long, black pointed beak, white plumage, black & red ringed neck and head plus it's unique walk are dazzling. I watched flocks of Jabiru fishing for crabs and fish in the river and then gracefully flying back to their nest of long sticks, perched on top of the highest trees, to feed it's young. The Capybaras and Caimen Sleep was inspired by a strange sight (see photo). Capybaras, the largest living rodent in the world, have heavy, furry, red-brown round-shaped bodies, furry short heads, 20 orange teeth, no tail and webbed feet. Black Caimen, one of the largest carnivorous reptiles, are South Americas version of the crocodile. To my amazement I saw a huge capybaras sleeping with it's head resting on top of a large open-jawed caimen. My music depicts the heavy, slow nature of these sleeping creatures. Brown Spider Monkeys are quite common in Brazil and they can be seen foraging for fruit and leaves, swinging and leaping in the upper canopy of the rain forests. Inspired by the bass line of a Led Zeppelin song I used pizzicato in the cello and leaping fast scales and intervals in the flute line in a swing style to show the activities of these intelligent, vocal, long-limbed, long-tailed monkeys. There are very few pieces scored for only flute and cello and Heitor Villa-Lobos's Jet Whistle is the most unique and strongest composition scored for this combination. I composed The Jabiru Suite inspired by the strength and originality of Villa-Lobos's composition. Richard Locker, excellent cellist, helped me edit the cello parts. The South American Suite for flute and guitar consists of five movements. The first movement, Chan Chich (see photo), was inspired by Chan Chich Lodge, located on Gallon Jug Estate in north-western Belize. This area is the largest forest north of the Amazon basin. Conservation efforts to preserve this forest, 'La Selva Maya' are underway in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. Thanks to the dedication of Gallon Jug Estate owner, Barry Bowen, to stop hunting over the past 20 years, wildlife has thrived. To reach Chan Chich one must take a 30 minute flight from Belize City. I used a simple folk sound in my music to describe very intimate area of Chan Chich Lodge. The second movement, Napo River Mist (Anaconda Encounter), was inspired by my trip in Equador down the white waters of the pale-brown Napo River, located in the Yasuni National Park. Created in 1979, this national park is situated in the eastern and central portions of Equador's Amazon Region. It lies in the Orellana and Pastaza provinces between the Napo and Curaray rivers. The Yasuní Naional Park was chosen as the core area of a biosphere reserve. During our two hour canoe trip we saw a few of the 185 mammalian species, 650 bird species, 80 species of reptiles, 100 amphibian species and 600 fish species. In the river I saw an anaconda powerfully swimming against the current. The Pantanal, the Portuguese word pântano, refers to wetlands and swamps. I was there during the dry season and took a fast bumpy Safari-like jeep ride to my destination. The third movement, Pantanal, captures the excitement I felt in my travels. The movement ends with the flutist playing a 'jet whistle', in which the player covers the mouthpiece and blows directly into the mouthpiece simultaneusly using the fingers to play a scale. The result is a thrilling airy upward swooping sound. The fourth movement, Fantasy, begins with a formal Spanish- sounding guitar line and an extroverted flute line. The piece develops into a flashy middle section which reminds me of a fireworks display. This section morphs into a short jazzy section and then ends using the formal melodic, harmonic and rhythmic material of the beginning. The last movement of the South American Suite, Vivo, was inspired by the great jazz tune, Song for my Father. Tennessee Cloud Suite for flute and harp musically describes five types of clouds: Sun Clouds, Green Clouds (Tornado), Contrails, Ice Crystal Clouds ( snow producing clouds) and Cloud Streets ( long rows of clouds that look like highways in the sky). Sun Clouds is a gentle flowing piece that explores the beauty of a cloudy day with the sun shining brightly. Green Clouds describes what tornado clouds look like. This movement begins with the harp's clashing chords describing the formation of dangerous tornado clouds. The movement develops with an arpeggiated flute part and a low range repetitive harp part describing the lightening bolts, thunder and swirling funnel of the tornado touching down. The piece ends with a soft, calm section showing the dramatic exit of the tornado. Ice Crystal Clouds shows the delicately nature of a gentle snow fall. The name Cloud Streets sounds like a blues piece so I composed a blues- influenced duet. My friend and virtuoso harpist, Susan Jolles, edited the harp parts. When the Moon is Blue for flute and guitar was composed on one lonely late night in my California State University Sacramento Flute Studio in February 2010. The composition ends on a happier note because my partner called and cheered me up. There are so many music compositions that successfully imitate the sound of trains. My favorites are of the early delta blues musicians like Charlie Patton, Bukka White and Robert Johnson, who are able to truly make their guitars sound like trains coming down the track. Locomotion for flute and guitar is my version of a noisy train rolling thru the countryside. My next CD, CAIRO, will be released early fall sometime in October! =========================.