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Juan Erena : The World We Build : Digital

Daniel Petrocelli, Jose Luis Morillas, Sergio Caleras , Dimitris Makris, Laura Verdugo Del Rey, and Maria Jose Tirado, guitarists.

ERENA: Heart of Earth, Tornado; Amanda; The World We Build; Alhori; Gotas de Lluvia;El Volcan de Cumbre Vieja:Stony- Sonata de Rocas; I.Fendselmeer; II Blockfields III; Weathering: Jara, Why?, Viento de Despedida.

Digital: Available from Amazon Music, Spotify and other main digital channels

Here is an album of original works by this prolific composer, some of whose sheet music I have previously come across. With the aid of a number of different guitarists, this latest album of works by Erena proves to be very diverse, very listenable although often quite complex musically, and includes some fabulous performances by the six guitarists here. Nothing here is similar to other composer’s music, as this writer has some very individual ways that make him stand apart from a lot of other guitarist/composers.

Therefore the opening track Heart of Earth is full of movement, unexpected harmonies and progressions, and yet always harmonious, and never too modern in its writings. There is often an almost jazz – harmony feeling to some of these pieces, with plenty to keep you interested.

Nearly half the pieces are played by Jose Luis Morillas, whose performance, for example of the Three – Movement Sonata, Stony – Sonata de Rocas, is one of the highlights of the entire album especially the final movement Weathering which really races around the fingerboard in the first theme, before getting a bluesy feel to it in its second melody. Gotas de Lluvia is a more thoughtful piece, with emotive harmonies and some lovely moments, whilst El Volcan de Cumbre Vieja is jumpy, with many exciting and restless moments to it , and needless to say some wonderful playing from Morillas again.

Sergio Calero does a great job with the complex Tornado, and the more lyrical Amanda, whilst Dimitris Makris sounds like he has four hands playing the lovely Jara, with its rocking accompaniment , whilst the very emotional Why?, is again one of the highlights of this always interesting album.

Laura Verdugo Del Rey gets the title song of the album for her only performance here, and this lovely emotive piece is superbly played, and yet is full of unexpected moments that are utterly original.

The last track on the album is given to Maria Jose Tirado, Viento de Despedida, and although you might expect an uproarious finale, it begins very slowly, full of sadly moving moments, before gently moving around in unusual patterns that show how good a player she really is, as indeed are all the six guitarists on this album.

So , in summation, the music is not predictable at all, but full of moments that catch your attention, and Juan Erena has gone a long way towards showing us all, what a fine composer he actually is, and how good an album this latest work is.

Chris Dumigan

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