By Jordan Beach
After three years of planning, Dr. Matt Anderson, assistant professor of music, has started producing a 10-video series of contemporary music written by Simone Fontanelli.
Anderson became friends with Fontanelli while completing his doctorate, and Fontanelli was working on an artist residency at the University of Georgia. In 2015, while Anderson’s guitar duo, Athens Guitar Duo, was performing and recording its second CD in Europe, the duo took a day trip to visit Fontanelli in Gorogonzola, where Anderson was gifted some of his compositions, including “Links: 30 Pieces for Young Guitarists.”
“This collection is a series of musical images; they are all fairly brief, between 30 to 120 seconds. And while not actually etudes, they serve as a ‘voyage of discovery’ through different styles of notation, form, technique, expression, etc.,” said Anderson.
The video series will consist of 30 pieces in 10 videos, with three pieces per video. Anderson is traveling around Georgia to shoot in different locations for each video, the first two locations include the Church of Christ in Athens and the Indian Seats at Sawnee Mountain, and he plans to utilize Reinhardt’s campus for several of the videos during the summer.
“Professor Anderson’s video project is not just a scholastic exercise; the Fontanelli pieces are for beginning classical guitarists; thus, Dr. Anderson’s work adeptly combines illustrative instruction with performance with both technical skill and pathos,” said Provost Dr. Mark Roberts. “When I watch him play, I have only one word to say, ‘Bravo’!”
Anderson believes the contemporary music genre is one that is really misunderstood. He wants his students to understand that, whether in a guitar or music theory lesson, you can’t bring the same set of expectations when listening to Pendereck as you do with Beethoven.
“’Links’ is a great vehicle for a performer or listener to start exploring several different modes of expression and technique that are used in contemporary music,” Anderson said. “Even notational techniques that were developed in association with contemporary music are explored in this set; this is great because it can help de-mystify these techniques.”
With his video series, Anderson hopes to bring more attention to the set of compositions and to his friend, Fontanelli, who created them. Anderson sets up and films the videos himself, receiving training from his recent filming of performance videos for local musicians over the past year.