guitar

The guitar is a very special instrument for me because I am more intimate with it than any other and I love to fully explore the techniques and range of the instrument. I have had the pleasure of working with many excellent guitarists including: Matt Borgmann, Graham Sims, Kevin Byrne and Gary Ryan across a range of styles and is a founder member of The Guitar Circle, a community dedicated to promoting guitar music.

My music derives from a classical training distilled with other musical influences from my past including: folk, progressive rock, punk, new wave and jazz . I aim to create strong melodic and rhythmic frameworks in tension with complex harmonic explorations and experimental approaches. A strong narrative often defines my works. Distinctive right hand patters derive from influences like Davy Graham, Bert Jansch, John Martyn and Stephan Grossman gained while I was playing on the London pub folk scene in the mid seventies. Around that time I also began 3 years studying classical guitar and music theory at The Watford School of Music under Tom Hartman and Carl Shavitz.

All my early composing energies were put into writing for various guitar based bands until, frustrated by the direction of popular music I rediscovered solo guitar. The influence of this period remains and is evidenced by clear melodic phrases and rhythms.

In 2001 I started an important collaboration with Graham Sims. This culminated in the world premiere in November 2001 at The Michael Tippet Centre of two major works Soundtrack 1 and The Fairground. The works were well received: "Substantial pieces... with many effective ideas" (Bath Chronicle). Graham went on to record both pieces on "The Fairground".

A few years back I began a major collaboration with Graham Sims and Kevin Byrne. This involved the composition of the Fanfarria suite. Fanfarria II was premiered by Graham to great reviews at the Assembly Rooms in Bath. click to see the video of this concert In 2006 the more expansive duet Fanfarria I and prelude were premiered by Graham and Kevin on their UK tour including the Tippet Centre and the Bolivar Hall, London. With one and a half years in the writing, help and motivation came from Hayley Savage. You can hear the results and view the scores below.

prelude

Graham Sims and Kevin Byrne - guitar
© lawrence reed 2001

A demanding guitar duet

fanfarria I

Graham Sims and Kevin Byrne - guitar
© lawrence reed 2001

A demanding guitar duet

soundtrack I

Graham Sims - guitar
© lawrence reed 2002

soundtrack 1 is a collection of short pieces suitable for intermediate to advanced players inspired by an old 1960s gangster movie

It was premiered by Graham Sims in 2002 at the Michael Tippet Centre in Bath

fanfarria II

Graham Sims - guitar
© lawrence reed 2003

fanfarria II is part of a group of three pieces – the others fanfarria I and fanfarria III being a duet and trio respectively.

The piece breaks down into two main themes, one representing procession followed by a loud "fanfare" representing arrival. Both appear twice. Traditionally fanfares can be boastful and even pompous- leaving little room for holding back!

Fanfarria’s dynamics and vitality make it a great piece to open or close a performance.

This piece also makes a good study for pupils wishing to improve their reading of higher positions including the less commonly used ones.

It was commissioned to mark the launch of The Guitar Circle, an online community of composers and performers

fanfarria II received its world premiere in the Assembly Rooms in Bath in March 2003.

sicilian study 4 - score only
© lawrence reed 2009

One of a series of short studies inspired by 12 tone methodology.

the steam age - score only
© lawrence reed 2009

A piece looking for a home! Reduced down from an orchestral piece. Quite demanding but I would love to work with someone to realise it.

bubbly blues

Lawrence Reed - guitar
© lawrence reed 2005

A fun piece

© lawrence reed 2017