Saturday, August 1, 2009

"Virtuoso Guitar Duos" Released!!!


August 1 is always a special date, being Tommy Bolin's birthday. I was invited by Johnnie Bolin to play the annual Tommy Bolin Fest in Sioux City which takes place today, but couldn't make it out there, and really wanted to be here for the release party of Manuel Barrueco's new CD, Virtuoso Guitar Duos. This spectacular recording also features young Italian superstar, Franco Platino. I'm very honored to have been asked by Manuel to do the cover of the CD, and we ended up using a painting of mine, La Vida Breve. I thought designing it around a mirror image of the painting would be appropriate for the duo concept, and I'm quite proud of the result. Even more so, as Manuel and Franco play a new arrangement of de Falla's La Vida Breve on the recording!

The party is today at Manuel's house, and among the guests will be some of the best young classical guitar virtuosos in the world - many of whom are or have been students of Manuel. As the guitar has been the major force in my creative life, and Manuel its acknowledged classical master of the modern era, you can imagine how thrilled I am.

Thank you, Manuel and Asgerdur. Abrazos!

Manuel.....Tommy.....what a day! I'll post some photos here tomorrow.

PART II

Well, it was everything I could have dreamed of and more. About 25 people arrived at Manuel and Asgerdur's house at 4:00, and I was the last to leave at 1 AM! Fantastic food, endless wine and champagne, heartfelt toasts, and a number of the best contemporary classical guitarists, from all corners of the globe. I would list the names, but I'd forget someone, and a few will soon be making appearances in this blog. And of course with Manuel himself, it really was Ground Zero of the classical guitar world. It was a beautiful evening, and eventually we all congregated outside on the deck overlooking the swimming pool and grounds of Casa Barrueco. There we were regaled with stories told by a humble and charming raconteur, the man who has brought unprecedented joy, inspiration, and wonder into our lives. I made a lot of friends last night, and realize the unique circumstances of our meeting created a bond that will never be broken.

Franco Platino, Manuel Barrueco, Nick


20 comments:

Myrna said...

Congratulations on a most stunningly beautiful album cover. Will have to get the recording.

RHCarpenter said...

Looks wonderful, Nick. Congrats!

siete said...

Hi, Nick, what a wonderful cover...If I were Manuel I'd be proud of you and your work....¡¡¡Congratulations!!

Abrazos, my friend.

Enrique.

Janet Belich said...

I loved this painting before, now there is twice as much to love. Yes, will definately have to have a recording.

Billie Crain said...

Excellent concept for a duo cover! That painting is one of my favs anyway. Your painting world and your musical world are melding together more and more. Congrats, Nick!

Nick said...

Myrna - you won't regret it, just watch for fire coming from the speakers!

Rhonda - if you're a guitar fan, don't miss this CD

Enrique - Manuel has a marvelous art collection, many Cuban and Spanish artists (and one gringo!)

Janet - yep, and I think we'll have posters/prints of the cover available soon

Billie - and nobody is more surprised than I am!

Lori Barton said...

Beautiful Nick, that painting was perfect for the album cover.

Sandy Maudlin said...

What a treat to share your dance of art with this special album! PERFECT!

jamiek8 said...

Wow. So THAT's what was happening in Philly. I am very happy for you and the incredible experience you had. You must still be delirious. The CD cover looks splendid and I have always loved la vida breve and now she is in stereo.

Enjoy the week. Talk soon...

Susan Liles said...

Excellent choice for the album cover!
Will have to order the album and paint as I listen to the music! Congrats!

Nick said...

Lori - I thought so too. I'm going to be doing more, so it's nice to start with a winner. I also did the cover for another Spanish CD a few years ago, you can see it here:
http://www.nicholassimmons.com/news/index2006.htm

Sandy - I know you love images of the Mediterranean, you've painted some killers!

Jamie - thanks, Philly was another gig, Manuel is (fortuitously) outside of Baltimore.
Stereophonic, you're right - she's now truly hearing "her master's voice"!

Susan - you'll love it, unbelievable guitar playing

W. K. Moore said...

Brilliant use of the double image - vibrant and exploding with life. I'm sure Manuel is quite proud of his new CD art jacket and of the creator as well. Not a bad next couple of days you have in store Nicholas. May this be a steady rise up the art charts for you. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy...

David Burge said...

The album and this painting were meant for each other. A serendipitous coupling to be sure!

fookie said...

The Cover painting is made more special by virtue of the mirror image. I love the excitement in the work and leading with it is a joyful promise as to what is inside. I'm so happy for the wonderful life you are enjoying, you deserve it!

Deb Townsend said...

Fantastic cover. Will check out the CD. Sounds really cool.

Nick said...

Bill - let's hope this one hits the charts with a bullet

Dake - agreed, a more fitting and fortuitous combination I can't imagine. There is going to be more, Louie, it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Fookie - it might look wonderful, and it is, but sacrifices have been made! Glad you like the image, I do think it is perfect for the concept.

Deb - Manuel is the best classical guitarist there is, you can't go wrong.

perugina said...

Myrna here said "stunningly beautiful" i strongly agree. This La Vida Breve is my favourite piece of yours. It was meant to grace this cover - all i can say is perfetto!
pg
ps.. my computer has been down and i see there is much to catch up on.

Nick said...

PG - I must admit I think the cover is the coolest I've seen on a Spanish guitar CD, but you should hear the music!!!!!!!

Charo said...

OMG! I am so happy for you... You deserve every bit of recognition, you are truly a gifted person and had worked hard at it. And the album cover what can I say?? I love it, I love the color, tne energy, the passion - just gorgeous

Nick said...

Ayayayaya Charo! I have to admit, it's just tooooo cool for school! Gracias many times over. :)