Guitar virtuoso Pepe Romero, adjunct professor of classical guitar at the USC Thornton School of Music, digs into his Spanish roots for his new solo album, Spanish Nights. Presenting a personal musical recreation of the Spain he knew in his youth, what he calls an “idealized Spain,” Romero brings tenderness and longing to the masterpieces of a vanished era with music that exudes romance and elegance. In addition to the world premiere of “Suite Madrileña No. 1,” written by Romero’s father, Celedonio Romero, the album features works by composers Federico Moreno Torroba and Joaquín Rodrigo, among others.
Los Angeles Percussion Quartet
The Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, featuring Eric Guinivan, incoming adjunct instructor in music theory and composition at USC Thornton, has released its first major studio album of originals. As one of the new percussion recordings produced in surround sound, the album includes “Ritual Dances,” a tour-de-force piece by Guinivan. That song, among others, places the listener among a sonic landscape of visceral and exotic percussion instruments, with the full force of the quartet’s technique and artistry applied in interpreting a mix of evocative, award-winning and never-before-recorded works. Rupa-khandha is packaged as a two-disc set, with standard and Blu-ray Surround Sound discs.
Cinematic Guitar Ensemble
Comprised of four guitarists from USC Thornton’s studio/jazz guitar department, the Cinematic Guitar Ensemble released its first album, Lighthouse. Led by guitar faculty and composer Pat Kelley, ensemble members Tim Fischer, Nick Chuba, Jake Sucher and Ryan Steward weave colorful textures and rhythms into their music with unique, original compositions and creative adaptations of known songs. Mixing acoustic and electric guitars, they play in a chamber music style with no bass or drum accompaniment. Featured pieces on this album include “Pine Street Waltz” by Fischer, “Margaret,” Chuba’s arrangement of a Julian Lage composition, and “Lighthouse” by Stewart.