Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer Music

Summer calendar of events:

Saturday, July 18th at 7 pm. Soprano Nancy Wood and  pianist Paul Safar present art songs both old and new and piano solos in the classical tradition. Cottage Grove High School. $13 adults. $10 students

Saturday, July 30th at 2 pm. Paul and Nancy's Love Truffle perform world music and reinvented jazzed up Beatles classics at the Saturday Market

Thursday, August 4th at 8 pm the Love Truffle shares the evening with Olem Alves and Inner Limits at Cozmic Pizza. All ages show!

Saturday,August 6th the love Truffle shows its jazz side at the Jazz Station in downtown Eugene. 8 pm.
All ages welcome

Friday, May 27, 2011

article from "the Torch" at Lane Community College

“Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra” is a new composition written by Paul Safar, a local composer and performer.
Safar said the concept of fusing classical and modern music came to him some 15 years ago, but hadn’t started working on the piece until recently.
“It’s always something I’ve been wanting to do, and then a couple years ago I thought, ‘you know, too much time is gonna go by — I’m gonna try to sink my teeth into it now,’” Safar explained.
Working with guitar instructor Olem Alves helped make the piece more “organic,” and Safar said Alves’ involvement fit like “a piece in a puzzle.”
“It’s my music, but his style of playing helped me write it,” Safar said. “This is a very classically-oriented piece, [but] he’s more of a jazz person, so we compromised,” leaving a section of the composition open for an improvisational guitar solo — Alves’ musical specialty.
“I come from a blues/rock background and then later got into jazz,” Alves wrote in an email to The Torch. “Therefore my musical comfort zone is improvisation.”
At first, Alves admitted he’d felt nervous and doubtful of his ability to perform the track.
“But then as I became comfortable … through practice and hard work, my thoughts were of satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, confidence, and a feeling of, ‘wow this is going to be good,’” he wrote. “The piece as a whole is out of the box for me as a musician,” Alves continued, “but studying it and eventually mastering it has made me a better person and musician.”
Safar hopes the modern twist on classical orchestral music will resonate with audience members.
“When I first had this idea, maybe it wasn’t the right time for an audience to appreciate it, but I feel like [there’s] more alignment with classical and modern music these days,” Safar said. “It’ll be interesting to see what people think of it.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Paul and Nancy's musical plans 4-11

Some exciting musical events in the following months:

The Lane Community Orchestra will be performing my Concerto for Electric Guitar on Thursday, June 2nd at 7:30 pm. This second performance of this three movement work will again feature Olem Alves as the soloist. Ron Bertucci will conduct this new work which mixes classical,jazz and rock elements.

I will accompany Nancy Wood on a mix of  art songs  from around the world at the Cottage Grove High School on Saturday,June 18th at 7 pm. We will also be performing with the Love Truffle around town this summer: August 4th at Cozmic Pizza and August 6th at the Jazz Station.

And of course, Cherry Blossom will be busy brewing up new shows for next season!! Please visit

Thursday, March 3, 2011

after the premiere...

Well, it's been a few weeks since Cherry Blossom's Art Music LIVE Part II concert which included the premiere of my Concerto for Electric Guitar.
Sitting there in the audience hearing it in its entirety for the first time was an experience I'll always remember. Thrilling to say the least.

It's been good to have alittle time to reflect on this big projects birthing.I  have had time to listen to the recording, look at the video and go over the score a little to make notes on some minor orchestral adjustments. I presented the piece at a Cascadia Composers meeting in Portland and got good feedback and  food for thought.

And, fortunately, it looks like the piece will be able to be performed again..Soon!..

Ron Bertucci, head of music at Lane Community College wants to program the piece on a concert of the Lane Community Chamber Orchestra. Olem will be the soloist again and I don't have to piece an orchestra together. The tentative date is Sunday, June 5th in the afternoon at L.C.C.'s performing arts hall.
I'm so excited to have this happen. So often a composers piece just gets performed once and for such a big piece as this, it would be a bit of a shame.

I feel very fortunate to get a second performance. Hopefully those of you who couldn't make it the first time can come out to this one.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Link to Interview on Doug Detricks blog

Below is the link to an interview talking about the Concerto For Electric Guitar with Doug Detrick

Thanks Doug!

Click Here

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Program Notes for Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra (Paul Safar)

Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra(Paul Safar (c)2010)

 World Premiere to take place on "Art Music LIVE in the 21st Century" concert presented by Cherry Blossom Musical Arts on Thursday Feb.10th at 7:30 pm at the Central Lutheran Church in Eugene.

The idea to write a Concerto for Electric Guitar came to me over fifteen years ago but the timing to actually begin writing on it in earnest and have the ability to get it performed happened over only the last year and a half. Although not the first of its kind, I hope my slant on the combination of electric guitar and orchestral instruments brings something new. This has been an exciting challenge for me to bring to light.
In this piece I continue my ongoing compositional attempts at blending my natural classical leanings(I grew up with classical piano and my parents are both from Vienna) with my love of rock and jazz stylings. I view this piece as a classical type concerto akin to a violin concerto but using one of the most iconic instruments of the last fifty years. The power, sustain and bending abilities of a solid body electric guitar are qualities I felt compelled to utilize in a classical framework.
The piece is traditionally structured like a Classical-Romantic Concerto with the first movement in Sonata-Allegro form. It actually uses the Beethoven Piano Sonata Op.13 as its model. Movement II is a looser song structure with a long static harmony section at its end for muted strings(ArvoPart influence). Movt III begins without a pause after a short bass clarinet-bassoon transition with rumblings from the whole orchestra into a tightly structured Rondo form.  A Fughetta encorporating various motivs throughout the entire work  is followed by a call and response drum break with the guitar and lastly a short coda.
This is a tonal piecewhich symbolically traverses the open strings of a guitar with its tonal centers: movt I travels from e-a. Movt II goes from d-g. Movt II from b-e. So the Concerto is in e minor roughly.
The piece is 98% written out note for note with short sections of improvisation over chord changes(both for the guitar and  for trumpet). The cadenza is also a mix of written out and structured improv.
I wrote the piece specifically for Olem Alves in mind as the first soloist and am forever grateful to him for his work on this project. I very much appreciate his flexibility and open mindedness. His masterly improvisational skills are not represented much here unfortunately but his virtuosic and sensitive playing  are.
Many thanks also to Doug Detrick for all his practical help and musical advice with this project! His knowledge of musical software and his orchestrational experience were of huge help. And a big thanks to Nancy,Ben,Quint and Kim and our Cherry Blossom supporters in making this first performance possible. 

Friday, January 14, 2011