The London Blues pieces for guitar are an ongoing series that I am gradually adding to when time allows. The first four pieces were commissioned by the Finnish decacorde player Mari Mäntylä and premiered by her in France in 2016. Following this I made a version for standard six string guitar, then wrote number 5, and the International Guitar Foundation commissioned number 6, which was first performed at Kings Place in London in 2017. Piece number 2 was also used as a compulsory test piece in the 2016 London International Guitar Competition.
These pieces are not related in any way to the blues style of music but were inspired by the prose poems of Baudelaire, called Paris Spleen. The title of these poems can be translated as Paris Blues. The guitar works share Baudelaire’s style of concision and abrupt shifts of mood and idea, and mix in my own experiences of contemporary London.
London Blues 1-4 have been recorded on the decacorde by Mari Mäntylä on Alba Records, and Tom Kerstens has recorded number 6 on the CD that showcases Gary Southwell’s guitars.
The pieces can be performed individually, or in any order. The decacorde versions (1-4) are available on request.