Monday, January 08, 2007

Finger pickin' good

On Saturday night, acoustic guitarist Muriel Anderson played to a sold-out audience of 2,000 in Charlotte. We weren't there. We were luckier. We saw her last night at a house concert in Chapel Hill. We had front row seats in clear view of her incredible fingers.

She started off with the Flamenco flair of "Leyenda," then moved around all over the place, including the classic piano rag "Nola," the romantic "Arioso," and her own September 11 composition, "Owls' Psalm."* She said this composition was inspired by a walk in a park where she heard two barred owls calling to each other in minor sixths, one a half-tone lower than the other. Sure enough, the sound of the female barred owl is a little higher-pitched than that of the male. Are they minor sixths a half-step apart? If you're Muriel Anderson they are, and it's hard to quibble with that.

*These mp3 sound files and more are available to sample.

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