CSU Music professors release new CD, PAINTED MUSIC

CD cover

Quatra Duo, comprised of CSU music faculty, Michelle Stanley, flute, and Jeff LaQuatra, guitar, has released their first solo CD, PAINTED MUSIC on Navona Records.

The album of works for flute and guitar by four heralded contemporary composers unlocks the imaginative, expressive power of the two beloved instruments.

Commissioned works are important

Quatra Duo is committed to new music for flute and guitar, and this recording is an exciting example of that passion,” said Dr. Stanley. Of the works on the album, two are commissions by the Duo: Painted Music by Bryan Johanson, and Suite for Flute and Guitar by James McGuire.

Of special sentiment to the duo, Suite was commissioned as a Christmas gift by LaQuatra for his then soon-to-be wife and duo partner. The six-movement piece reveals the McGuitre’s affinity for jazz, popular music, and even impressionism; all the while it demonstrates the performers virtuosic range on their instruments.

Last fall, Quatra Duo spent ten days touring in China, performing Classical works to audiences who had not yet experienced this style of music before; Suite was featured on the program. The piece, along with From the Dreamingby Phillip Houghton, will be included on their recital at the University Center for the Arts in Jan.

promo photo
Quatra Duo are Jeff LaQuatra, head of the guitar studio at CSU, and Michelle Stanley, associate professor of music.

Varied compositions

Painted Music from composer Bryan Johanson is a sonata, once again broken into six movements. Each of these is inspired by a different painting from early 20th-century, Swiss born artist Paul Klee. Klee’s artwork is featured on the CD cover.

Fish Tale is a surreal and eclectic piece that imagines the journey of a fish from the ocean to the fish bowl, and far beyond; the music recounts these piscine adventures through a dazzling array of musical styles and colors, from African thumb piano, samba, folk music, and more.

From the Dreaming is the work of Australian visual artist, classical guitarist, and composer, Phillip Houghton. The music, inspired by Houghton’s visit to the Australian Outback, reflects the grandeur and raw power of the country’s climate and ecosystems. Searing heat, ancient riverbeds, scurrying geckos, and violent storms are all reflected in the dynamic twists and turns of the flute and guitar.

PAINTED MUSIC, as its name suggests, utilizes these two instruments to imprint a gallery of images onto the canvas of the mind. Far from being limited by the duo format, here Quatra Duo seems to relish the challenge. The listener is left with a new sense of what can be accomplished with merely two instruments, in the hands of the right musicians, that is.

PAINTED MUSIC is now available on your favorite streaming service or for purchase on Amazon Music. The majority of this article is pulled from a Navano Records press release about the new CD.