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I wrote this piece for my friend, guitarist John Couch. I wanted to write for him something that would reflect his life journey from the time he left New Zealand, as a hopeful young Masters student, to the present day.
John and I had a coffee at my place one morning and we got to talking about our experiences since arriving in Australia. We were quite surprised by how much we had in common. Perhaps there are many common obstacles and challenges that all people trying to settle down into new places face? This was the inspiration for John's piece.
The four movements depict, as I see it, John's journey through a quasi-allegorical tale about a medieval minstrel who travels places playing his lute. He eventually achieves all he sets out to, and even gets to marry his loved one.
I was also inspired by the beautiful music and intriguing life of the great lutenist and composer John Dowland; I had been enjoying the beautiful CD of Sting and Edin Karamazov with their unique interpretation of John Dowland's music while writing this piece. The music of Barrios that I listened to during this same period inevitably made its mark on the piece too, particularly in the second movement. And then there is the obvious reference to Mozart, which I thought would make a cheeky title (the fact that John has a lute at home also contributed to the idea).
This is also an attempt to congratulate John and Wendy again on their marriage, this time with a little present - 'The Magic Lute'. Long may your marriage prosper!
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