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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Afternoon concert featuring talented duo



A flute and guitar pair, Duo Amantis, performed for the latest installment of concerts at Pierce with Renaissance and Baroque musical arrangements in the 3400 Music Building.

The duo met in 2006 while attending the California Institute of the Arts and their name is derived from a piece named “Lachrimae Amantis” which means the lover’s tears.

Duo Amantis began with a piece by a Portuguese artist Hector Villa-Lobos with Tara Schwab on the flute and Michael Kudirka on the guitar.

The song, titled “Distribuicao de Flores” consisted of dramatic banging along the guitar frets, juxtaposed by the ethereal sounds of the flute. Forceful and sudden crescendo’s followed by soft melodies evoked the feelings as if being taken to a dramatic scene from a Shakespearean play.

To introduce their second movement, Schwab played a typical chromatic scale to give the audience a reference point as to how a typical scale should sound, followed by the unique scale that included extra high-pitched notes and sounds.

“This piece is really unique because the composer uses new scales. There are really no pieces prior to this that asks the flute to do this, so I got to make up the scale for all of these notes,” said Schwab.

Maurice Ravel originally composed their final arrangement, “Le Tombeau de Couperin”. This elegant piece partnered a flowing and connected melody between the guitar and flute and sounded as if the music had been written in cursive.

Although music from the Baroque and Renaissance era were originally written for a lute, the predecessor to the guitar, Kudirka chooses to modernize the music by playing it on his handcrafted guitar by local classical guitar maker Greg Brandt.

“I use this guitar for pretty much everything except for when I play renaissance, then I’ll use a lute,” said Kudirka.

Those looking to break away from what’s typically heard on the radio today will find these classic sounds as a refreshing break that will challenge and surprise the eardrums.

“As a guitar player myself it definitely taught me technique,” said student Alvaro Camarena, 20 after the concert. “It inspires you that that can be you if you keep on playing and never give up.”

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