Description:


Montana Skies creates a unique new sound with the pairing of cello and fingerstyle guitar. Combining classic with modern, the group has created their own "new acoustic" sound with innovative original compositions and arrangements. The CD brings new music from Jonathan Adams as well as music from Roberto Di Marino and arrangements of pop and traditional tunes.


Liner Notes:


Montana Skies-Jonathan Adams-Montana Skies reflects on the awe-inspiring beauty of Montana’s beautiful landscape. For several summers, I had the opportunity to study guitar in Bozeman, Montana. In addition to growing as a guitarist, I also made a lot of great friends and lasting memories. Montana Skies reflects on those summers in Bozeman.

For me,the raw beauty of Montana’s wilderness serves as a reminder of God’s creative force. The landscapes of Montana are truly like a bit of heaven on earth.


The Edge of Night-Jonathan Adams-The Edge of Night is about the beauty of the night sky and my own fascination with outer space. For me space represents a place of endless wonder unencumbered by human society and its physical boundaries. On one particular visit to Bozeman, my friend, Lu, (who is a native of Montana), guided us to a mountain lake that was miles from the nearest man-made light source. The views of the night sky were amazingly clear. Lu even mentioned that on some nights it was so clear you could actually see satellites pass overhead. The guitar part in this piece is representative of the satellite perspective. One side views the earth, while the other views the expanse of space. The cello’s melody represents human longing.


Sunburst-Andrew York-This great tune by Andrew York has become a standard of the classical guitar repertoire and has become a favorite of nylon string guitarists, although it was originally performed by Andrew on steel string guitar. I performed this tune as a solo for nylon string guitar on my first recording “guitarist”. Jennifer and I have arranged a version here for cello and steel string guitar.


Gymnopedie #1- Erik Satie-This beautiful melody was originally composed for the piano. During his career, Erik was employed as a “bar pianist” at a local club. Although, much of his music was shunned by the “academics” of his day, this beautiful piece has withstood the test of time.


Morenita do Brazil-Giuesseppe Farruato- Morenita is a Brazilian samba. We first heard the piece as a guitar duo and thought it would make a great duet for guitar and cello. Caution: The melody is kind of infectious and may stay with you for days on end!


Prelude-Jonathan Adams- This somber prelude was one of my first compositions for guitar. It was originally composed as a prelude to The Forest: in a dream by my friend Greg Thomason. It also serves as a great intro to Danza as it modulates to the key of D.


Danza-Jonathan Adams- This tune is based on a Renaissance feel. Danza is a bouncy little dance, somewhat akin to a Saltarello, for guitar and cello. My inspiration for this was Daffy Duck’s brilliant portrayal of Robin Hood as he masters the finer points of using his quarter staff. ...dodge, twist, turn...


Milonga-Roberto di Marino- Milonga, by Italian composer Roberto di Marino, is based on the Argentinean Tango. The Milonga is the slow middle movement from the Tango’s suite. One night, as I surfed the net I came across Roberto’s site and was very interested to get a copy of his piece called “The Nightfall”. I emailed Roberto, hoping he could read English, as my Italian was a bit rusty (read: non-existent). Fortunately, Roberto’s English is excellent and he was kind enough to send “The Nightfall” and also suggested that “Milonga” would make a nice prelude. Both pieces were originally written for guitar and flute.


The Nightfall-Roberto di Marino-Roberto described this piece as “new age” sounding. It is his musical description of the twilight hours. The active guitar part supports the cello’s soaring melody.


Here, There and Everywhere-Lennon/McCartney-One of our favorite melodies from the Beatles. It is said that this tune was written by Paul McCartney as a love song for his girlfriend.


The Many Moods of Eleanor Rigby-Lennon/McCartney-This was one of my early guitar arrangements. I originally started off in the key of E minor, and as I continued with the arrangement I came up with a variety of ideas in different keys. The piece eventually evolved into a sort of “theme and variations” in order to musically interpret the different moods I imagined “Eleanor Rigby” might experience.


December Mourning-Jonathan Adams-This piece was written on a cold December day in Athens, GA shortly after Jennifer and I were married. Snow was gently falling outside our apartment window as I improvised on the guitar. I had recently lost two close family members; my cousin to breast cancer and my grandmother had passed on. As I played, I thought about the short time we have with the people we love. December Mourning is what came of those improvisations.


Bridget O’Malley-traditional-I first heard this traditional ballad performed by a friend on the mountain dulcimer. I was immediately drawn to the beautiful melody and arranged it here for guitar and cello. We always perform this as a prelude to the faster dance tune Lord Inchiquin by Turlough O’Carolan.


Lord Inchiquin-Turlough O’Carolan- O’Carolan was an itinerant harpist who composed scores of melodies that are now played by Celtic musicians all over the world. He was also a contemporary of many Baroque musicians, such as Vivaldi; therefore, this tune has a somewhat Baroque feel to it.


-Jonathan Adams


-all of the pieces have been arranged or composed, for cello and guitar, by Montana Skies.


Thanks:


This album is a labor of love and comes to you not only by way of our passion for this music, but also by way of the extraordinary talents and hard work of many others: A few that we would like to thank:


Lloyd and Diane Packard and Andrew and Catherine Adams for their continuing support in every way, Ron Baker and Kena Schuler of Ardis Media Group

(ardismedia.com) for lending design talents to all of our graphic and web designs, Michael Black for sharing his vast well of audio knowledge and mastering skills, Bob and Eileen Altman of Altman guitars for the great steel string guitar used on this recording (altmanguitars.com), and Wingate Downs for his photographic expertise.

Montana Skies - 2002