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Album Title:Ex Tenebris Lux
Artist:Valerie Hartzell
Item Code:ALBUM-00316
Label:Soundset Recordings
Performance Type:   Studio Recording
Sub-Genre:20th/21st Century, Guitar, Romantic,


Notes from the composer on Ex Tenebris
Olga Amelkina-Vera

Ex Tenebris was commissioned in the spring of 2010 by my longtime friend and colleague Valerie Hartzell. I welcomed the challenge of writing a substantial piece for solo guitar, and wanted to use the instrument's many expressive possibilities. The concept for this piece came from the Latin proverb "Ex tenebris lux," or "Out of darkness comes light." I have always loved this phrase, and thought it a perfect idea to inspire a new work. The composition reflects a psychological progression from darker to lighter moods. To me, darker emotions have always seemed more complex and nuanced than utter joy (which is a simple and wholesome feeling); perhaps because of a degree of self-consciousness that often creeps in when one is sad. That is why the first part of the composition has many shades of mood, from tragic pathos to elegiac sorrow, and uses more complex harmonies and a greater variety of instrumental techniques than the second half, which is the expression of quietly building excitement culminating in joyfully raucous strums of the finale.

Notes from the composer on Drift
Andy Mitchell
Drift grew from a melody I had originally conceived for an operatic production of King Lear that never happened. Several years later, I was playing through old musical ideas I�d had and this melody captured my mood. The haunting, thoughtful, and flowing character of Drift reminded me of how we move through life and all its experiences like the passenger of a small boat, navigating the river's waters yet always drifting forward to our destination.

Producer: Valerie Hartzell & Richard Hartzell
Recording Engineer & Producer: Todd Hulslander
Recorded on October 4-13, 2010
Strings: Savarez Alliance Cantiga 510 AR
Guitar: Gregory Byers
Art Direction & Design: Jennifer Grassman
Photography: Robert Nejako

Recorded at the KUHF- Houston Public Radio Studios

I dedicate this CD to my first classical guitar teacher, Brigitte Cazebonne. This recording would not have been possible without the financial support of Debbie and Chris Donofrio, Cheryl Reese, Robert and Sharon Nejako, and Rena Bond. I am most grateful to Jennifer Grassman for the CD art and graphic design, and to my husband Robert Nejako and my friends and students for their support. Lastly, I thank Frank and Leanne Koonce for production assistance.