What did Choan do in 2021?
Published on December 29, 2021
2021 comes to an end and, even if it has been far from a great year, I’d like to stay positive. Looking back, I think I’ve made some things of value in the creative side and would like to recall them here.
The Ukulele Bookshop
On Jan, 2 I launched The Ukulele Bookshop, my own music publishing business.
A. P. Drove Me to Tears was the first score published. Giovanni Albini brought it to life.
In this twelve months we’ve published almost fifty title (for re-entrant ukulele, low G tuning, baritone and fifths tuning), most of them digital editions of single scores, but also a couple of print collections which have been very well received in the ukulele niche.
50 Miniature Studies for Ukulele
50 Miniature Studies for Ukulele, a compilation of short studies initially published on Patreon, was published in February, both in print and digital editions.
The publication has been reviewed by Matthew Quilliam and mentioned in the Uketropolis podcast by James Hill. The Uke magazine included a demo score in its June edition.
If you’re playing through this book, you’re welcome to join the Facebook support group.
Waltz in Progress
Our second big release was Waltz in Progress, published in April. That’s a collection of twelve waltzes for re-entrant tuning uke. Each pieces is dedicated to some ukulele player I do appreviate.
Watch Donald Bousted playing Donald’s:
Some other artists, such as Julián Rodríguez and Davide Donelli have also recorded their dedicated pieces.
The print editions of 50 Miniature Studies for Ukulele and Waltz in Progress are also available from Ukecosas (Spain), Gute Ukulele (Germany), The Uke Room (United Kingdom) and Ukulele Music Australia.
Minimalism and new collaborations
Learning about the music and the creative approaches of Arvo Pärt (and others) led me to minimalism. I’ve also started collaborating with some performers I truly admire. Samantha Muir has kindly performed two of my recent works. In Despair and Common Blue.
Here’s a more detailed list of works premiered by others. I feel truly honoured by such talented artists playing my music.
I think Santa Orosia deserves a special mention among what I’ve written, and others recorded, this last year. That’s a suite of seventeen short pieces for uke in fifths inspired in traditional music from Yebra de Basa, Spain. Donald Bousted recorded it this Summer and put it into his album Barry Tone’s Fantastic Adventure.
Read here about the what and the why of Santa Orosia.
Bousted died on the first days of December. He leaves a musical legacy of delightful ukulele albums and an interesting corpus of microtonal compositions and mixed media works. He’ll be dearly missed.
Some other things
- Back in February I performed some of my pieces in one of the online events of the Gaithersburg Ukulele Festival.
- In May I streamed through Bandcamp a program dedicated to waltzes and ukulele, An Evening of Ukulele Waltzes. I guess it’ll be repeated soon.
- One month later, I used the same format for a more advanced program, Unexpected Ukulele.
- By the end of Spring, a series of wood fires asolated the mountains close to home. I wrote Awaiting the Rain and published its single on Spotify.
- En June and December I performed live at La Malteadora, in Zaragoza, playing a wide repertoire of solo ukulele works, both traditional and contemporary works.
- I joined wonderful Sergio Mesa to play a swing gig a duo, in a revamped version of Doctor Guapo. That was in July, at La Miranda, Barcelona.
- Some of the pieces from Santa Orosia were performed live at a concert in the UK by Donald Bousted.
- Lindsay Higgs surprised me with a dedication. Here’s my rendition of Cornflowers.
- In August I was student at the HighSCORE Festival. That was intense and what I learnt is germinating and coming out.
- In November I talked for long to Jaime Riera, who dedicated an episode of his podcast Musicin2Flavors to what I do.
- Along the year, I pushed lots of videos to YouTube and shared many tablatures on Patreon.
In 2022 I intend to publish new score collections, add pieces from other composers to The Ukulele Bookshop. There are some third party premieres in the works, I’ll do some ukulele master classes online, and, outside the music business, I’m back to school and web development.
Also, I’m already available for hire to make your scores look real nice. Feel free to contact if you’re interested in my services
The generosity of my supporters on Patreon allows me to dedicate an extra time to musical activities. These days I’ve had the support of:
Angela Denise Davis, Antonio Más, Beth Lamprecht, Brian, brian toche, Carol Anderson, Carolina Escobar, Cathy Welsford, Cheryl Romero, Christine, Christopher Davis-Shannon, Cooper Toth, D.C. Kapilla, David Coe, David M Pedersen, Deborah Tolar, Diana Dow, Emma Edgar, Endika Portillo, Enrico Ruggiero, Garfield Gumpster, Graciela Cano, Gustaf Wettermark, Hannah Sanguinetti, Holly, Jan Dromlewicz, Janet Schmid-Wardenga, Jim Armetta, John Palabrica, Joli allen, Jonathan Marshall, Jorge Gutierrez, Joseph Serpe, Judy Reichler, Kemi Ola, Kristi Jones, Larry Usselman, Lars Larsen, lorna herf, LOUDA, Marcelo Yamashita Salles, Marya Jansen-Gruber, MUSIC IN 2FLAVORS, Nick Collins, Nicola Salmoria, Oswald Neymeyer, Patricia García Vargas, Patrick Market, Paul Giers, Paul Giguere, Penelope Dahl, Pepa Zaragoza, Petra Malberg, renee french, Roberto Bajista, ruben.martin, Rudi Neumaier, Sharon Calabrese, Sharon Constant, She Peng Tham, Steve Van Allen, Susan Boukema, Sven Thelemann, Torsten Uhrenholdt, Tschilles, ukulelebo, Vicki Renz, Çağlan Çınar Dilek.
Online ukulele lessons
I’m lucky to work with a few private students who make me a better teacher, a better musician, and a better human being. They know who they are and how much I love them.
I have some slots available for new students. Should you like to do Skype ukulele lessons with me, just contact me.