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© Louis Valentine Johnson 2019

You CAN LISTEN & BUY AUDIO RECORDINGS OF SINGLES HERE:

        LULLABY OF LOVE

 This work is the slow second MVMT of three titled:

TRES PENSAMNIENTOS LATINOS. 

It is a lullaby for our young people.  I play and send it with positive hope as we turn this world  over to them....

 It is dedicated to all young children, especially Omari, Bodie, Alex, and Johan. My wish is for them is to have an earth where they can live to follow their hopes and dreams, go to sleep peacefully every night, and wake up safely every morning.

      SNOWFALL IN EL ESCORIAL

This is Movement One of my three movement composition titled: 

Tres Pensamientos Latinos.

This piece portrays waking up to a windy, winter morning in El Escorial, Spain, up in the foothills above Madrid, to a storm and snowfall in the studio of my Argentine friend,

guitarist and composer,

Jose Luis Merlin.

 

 

 

           HAIKU I IF ONLY.....

To Life and Death - Improvisatory

 

"love in a mem'ry will caress the sharp-edged pain. ...only, if only.....

 

Haiku I, poses the question- IF ONLY. If only something would have happened in our lives another way, or if it would not have happened at all, then maybe we would not have experienced the sharp-edged pain. As the Haiku and my composition express, only the memory of love can continually caress and soften the sharp edges of pain.

    HAIKU II WATER, WIND, & STONE

To my Fellow Travelers:

"a strong wind rushes to stone mountains, cliffs, deserts again and again." 

   

As a musician and guitarist for over 50 years, I have generally played other Composer's music.  I began writing my own original pieces which have since developed into a newer and more modern sound. I re-titled my compositions as "Innovative Guitar."  While much of the older "Classical Guitar" music is beautiful, these works are an innovative style of guitar composition and playing.

            MONKEY MIND

            for solo guitar

I wrote this composition to help those of us who need to solve the nighttime Monkey Mind problem.

Monkey Mind is a situation where we think too much about

everything.

 

When we lie down to sleep at

night-we cannot sleep because....

All the thoughts are jumping as monkeys from branch to branch

in a jungle!

This piece is intended as a descriptive antidote and the performance notes say: "1:30 AM - your head on a pillow wishing for sleep."  "your disjunct thoughts swing from branch.....to branch!" "debts...religion...friends...job...grades...family...rent...love...tuition...

savings...politics...income...insurance...arguments...violin strings...guitar strings...!"

Then at the 2/4 bar number 21, the performer(s) all yell together "HELP!" Here the instruments come back very sleepy and a quarter note equals c. 38 played sul tasto with vibrato.  The indications here are:

"Sleepy...Try again...finally you sleep." Whereupon the performer(s) at the last note, "yawn, rest their heads and arms on their instruments with eyes closed and go to sleep."" Until the thunderous applause of the audience wakes them up from their comfortable slumber!  This composition has also been arranged for guitar, violin as well as guitar, violin, and percussion.  I have recorded these versions of this work with my violinist Richard Altenbach of the Altenbach & Johnson Duo along with percussionist Bruce Wheelock of Flying Whale Recording Studios. Have a restful night...........

        REFLECTIONS 911

 for violin,cello & guitar                      

My best and most emotional instrumental description for the reflections of family members and

our society in the USA after the

Ground Zero event in New York City.

Reflections 911 is dedicated to our country and the millions of people

who suffered, especially those who lost loved ones in one of the 

most shocking events in the history of the United States.

I rewrote this Reflections piece which was based on, and is an excerpt from my substantially larger composition called September Eleventh. I wrote September Eleventh for solo guitar in San Francisco in 2001. This short excerpt became a solo guitar piece called Ground Zero. For this recording I rearranged Ground Zero, re-titled it Reflections 911 for additional instruments. I chose this ensemble of guitar, violin and cello, because I felt it most effective for expressing the necessary emotions. 

  Now, several years later, we are able to reflect on how this sad day has forever changed the way we live our lives. As citizens of the world, we must continue to remember that only through reflections on our past can we strive to move forward and be a society that values life, liberties, freedom, art and music.

  I offer deep gratitude to my fantastic producer Richard Altenbach. Richard’s superb violin performance is captured on this recording. Also thanks to the distinguished cellist, Susan Lamb Cook, for her lovely cello performance recorded here. This wonderful arrangement was done by Philip Rothman, New York City, New York.

  This composition was recorded at Dos Almas Studios in Grass Valley, California and Larry Uzelac at Playland Studios in Auburn, California. Richard Altenbach did the engineering and mastering and sheet music notation at Bachiosaurus Studios in Grass Valley, California.

           Song of the Birds

               Pablo Casals

This work is very well known to all cellists and is a beautiful listening experience. I am happy to be able to record my arrangement for guitar and cello here with my long-time friend and cellist, Horatio Edens.

Nearly 50 years ago, my music 

professor, Horatio Edens (we became close friends) handed me the orchestral score to 

Pablo Casals’ Song of the Birds. He said, “Why don’t you arrange this for guitar and cello. It would be an excellent piece for us to play!” So I arranged this piece and we performed it many times together. We recently, after much life had passed under the bridge, had the opportunity to restart our collaborations. We have performed together several times and revived our Song of the Birds duo composition. Our guitar and cello duo was called, Ten Strings Inc. We had a great time recording this piece together and we know you will enjoy it!  

   This recording was done at Dos Almas Studios in Grass Valley, California. The producer was Richard Altenbach, composer and violinist, of Bachiosaurus Studios, Grass Valley, California.

                  PORTRAITS

     MVMT I THE PEACE CONCERTO

This work is written for Solo Guitar. 

The Concerto has been arranged in additional instrumentations by LVJ and Composers, Cullan Bryant,

Richard Altenbach, Philip Rothman

and Craig Palmer for Guitar and

Violin, Guitar and Viola, Guitar and \Cello, Guitar and Clarinet, Guitar

and Piano, Guitar with String Quartet. 

             Song of the Birds

                 for solo guitar

 I arranged and recorded this 

famous and beautiful piece which is inspired and based on Pablo Casals' cello solo composition.

   This Pablo Casals' piece for solo cello was most notably performed

by him in his last years at the age of 95, when he performed it as a tribute, and gave a speech at the United Nations Assembly in New York City.

Casals' presentation and performance of Song of the Birds, and his dedication to human understanding and peace are documented on YouTube. I have also arranged this beautiful composition for guitar and violin, guitar and viola, and guitar and cello.

          THE SONG OF PEACE

  MVMT II THE PEACE CONCERTO

This work is written for Solo Guitar.  The Concerto has been arranged

in additional instrumentations by

LVJ and fellow Composers and Colleagues, Cullan Bryant,

Richard Altenbach, Philip

Rothman and Craig Palmer, for

Guitar and Violin, Guitar and Viola, Guitar and Cello, Guitar and

Clarinet, Guitar and Piano, Guitar

with String Quartet

              THE QUESTION

MVMT III of THE PEACE CONCERTO.

 

I wrote this composition originally 

for Solo Guitar. 

  The Peace Concerto has since been arranged in additional instrumentations by LVJ and fellow composers and colleagues, Cullan Bryant-for Guitar and String Quartet.

Philip Rothman and Craig Palmer, for Guitar and Violin, Guitar and Viola, Guitar and Cello, Guitar and Clarinet, and Guitar and Piano. 

                 ONE INDIA

Be "ONE" with India while traveling through this wonderful country.  There are accompanying videos on YouTube that will chart your cultural experience through India.

            The Ferris Wheel

This piece portrays an expression in the life of country people who leave their pastoral peaceful existence,

and come into town to experience the exhilaration, and excitement of their favorite ride on a Ferris Wheel.

It is also arranged for Guitar and Cello.

        A SOLDIER IN PARADISE

A memorial to our soldiers, and all the military branches. This composition is the first of three pastorales and is meant to honor what they have done, and what they are still doing as they serve us and our nation. There is an accompanying video on my

YouTube channel. There is also an arrangement of these Pastorales for Guitar and Cello.

               DARK HONEY

This piece is a warm deep voice of encouragement.  It is Movement II

of a three Movement composition titled Three Pastorals. It is also arranged for Guitar and Cello.

Here we present to you Malagueña California! You will enjoy and experience the exhilaration of these original variations on this famous theme. Listen to the excitement from your front row seat!

       MALAGUENA CALIFORNIA!

You will enjoy and experience the exhilaration of these original variations on this famous theme. Listen to the excitement from your front row seat!

               ONE CHINA
  Experience ONE in a cultural variation  as we take a lovely Asian journey through the beauty of China. 

 

  Think peaceful calm thoughts.

 Then think nothing at all while you experience the exciting and at the same time  hypnotic travel through this civilization's land of natural beauty, art, and Chinese culture. 
 

           VALENTINE WALTZ

 

  It is derived from a composition dedicated to my daughter called HEIDI'S SONG.

 

HEIDI'S SONG is the first movement of my four movement work titled: FOR THE CHILDREN.

 

This piece can be played, listened to, and danced to on Valentine's Day, or any other of the 364 days of the year!

  Sixty years ago, evening came and dusk settled on White Bird Pass in the Seven Devils Mountains of Idaho.      Together in a mountain cabin,
peaceful and calm, we shared sweet moments and conversation. I was five years-old and my mother, Rena V. Johnson was in her early twenties.
  Later, she would die at the young age of thirty-seven. Before that happened, she taught me many things, including the words to La Paloma. She was strong, caring, beautiful, womanly, mysterious, loving 
and she looked out for me.

  This homage, a message of love,

               is for you, Mama.

Louis Valentine Johnson
February 14, 2003

                  ONE USA

  Be "ONE" with yourself, other people and other living things. 
  Think of something peaceful and calm, and then think nothing at all
while a hypnotic journey unfolds your mind with this composition.
  I wrote this to encompass a relaxing path not usually experienced in our society. 

My work here is meant to let everything else drift away. Live the moment right now with this music. You will appreciate the experience and there will be no regrets. For you, this is peace, relaxation, and fulfillment.