Fading Sounds

Guitar Music of Georges Raillard

Georges Raillard composer
David William Ross guitar

Release Date: May 27, 2022
Catalog #: NV6426
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Solo Instrumental
Guitar

On FADING SOUNDS, composer Georges Raillard turns a creative eye towards the simple wonders of the world with a deep appreciation for the fleetingness of each moment. The aptly titled album presents 10 works for solo guitar, each of which take full advantage of the instrument’s tone and timbre. As the pieces conjure images and memories of landscapes, experiences, and thoughts, every cheerful chord, harmonic passage, and lyrical progression inevitably ends with a haunting resonance that leaves the ear wanting more. The compositions are dexterously played by guitarist David William Ross, whose gentle confidence on the instrument lets Raillard’s musical ideas ring out with clarity and precision.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Coastal Rhapsody Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 3:54
02 In the Pine Wood: I. Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 3:27
03 In the Pine Wood: II. Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 1:09
04 In the Pine Wood: III. Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 2:16
05 In the Pine Wood: IV. Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 1:59
06 In the Pine Wood: V. Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 2:31
07 Fading Sounds Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 5:16
08 Cut Flowers Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 2:27
09 November: Winter Threat I. Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 4:47
10 November: Winter Threat II. Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 3:31
11 Diverging Spirits Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 9:36
12 Lighthouse Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 2:36
13 Stray Thoughts: I. Digging in the Backgrounds Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 4:08
14 Stray Thoughts: II. Escaping Bird Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 4:55
15 Stray Thoughts: III. Indian Siesta Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 3:07
16 Feverish Freezing (Nocturne) Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 4:32
17 Alive Georges Raillard David William Ross, guitar 7:05

Recorded December 2021 in Keene NH
Recording Session Producer & Engineer David William Ross

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Chris Robinson

VP of Production Jan Košulic
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Mastering Melanie Montgomery

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming, Morgan Hauber
Publicity Patrick Niland, Aidan Curran
Content Manager Sara Warner

Artist Information

Georges Raillard

Composer

Georges Raillard was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1957, where he completed his education, culminating in studying foreign languages at the University of Basel. From 1983 to 2001 he resided in Madrid, Spain, where he worked as a language teacher, translator, and writer. From 2001 to 2019 he worked as a writer, composer, translator, and archivist, mainly in Basel. Returning to Madrid in 2019, he has since been focusing on his artistic endeavors.

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David William Ross

David William Ross

Guitarist

David William Ross is a New England–based guitarist with roots in both classical and jazz. His recordings and performances have been lauded for their sensitivity, virtuosity, and depth of all-around musicality. Ross frequently works with composers and is active in cultivating new repertoire for the guitar. He has premiered works by Frank Wallace, Georges Raillard, Ferdinando DeSena, Peter Dayton, Pierre Schroeder, among many others. Ross’ work as a session player has led to an extensive working knowledge of the recording studio. He has developed an approach to engineering and recording that not only serves as a means to capture and present music but also as an artistic tool in its own right.

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Notes

The melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic guitar pieces contained within this album are all musical constructs and in no way reflect the concepts and ideas expressed by their titles. The titles were added only after the pieces were finished, relating their moods and atmospheres to landscapes, experiences, memories, and thoughts.

The title, FADING SOUNDS, refers to the titular track contained on the album, however we also hear sounds fading into silence in many other pieces. Silence has no quality in itself; it is only the longing memory of sounds fading.

— Georges Raillard

As indicated by the name “Rhapsody”, this is a single-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, and free-flowing in structure. The piece has a cheerful, easy-going, jaunty character. I associate it with summer, sunny weather, blue skies, pleasant temperatures, and in my case, the seaside and salty air, since I usually spend part of the summer in Southwestern Spain on the Atlantic coast.

— Georges Raillard

This suite of five pieces is another composition inspired by seaside life and landscapes. The title refers to pine woods surrounding the summer resorts in southwest Spain.

Mediterranean woods are sparser and brighter than the dense, somber Central European or New England woods. The trees, mostly pine but also some juniper, don’t grow as tall as trees in the woods situated in moderate climate zones. Swept by onshore winds, they are shaped into bizarre forms with crooked trunks. The undergrowth is made up of rosemary bushes, brooms, and in spring, grass and the odd flower. In summer, the sandy soil becomes dry.

What I find fascinating is the sound the wind produces when whistling through the leaves and branches. Within Central European woods, we hear a hissing sound, like an non-voiced s or sh. Mediterranean and especially pine woods sound much softer and mellower and definitely more musical, like a sung voiced s.

— Georges Raillard

Chords sound out, but there is no response, not even an echo, only fading reverberation. Is the silence a threat? Or just a pause? Or even a promise? We create, shape, and destroy the silence by making sounds just before and just after.

The piece consists of a main section, which is repeated and varied towards the end, then a softer middle section full of tender chord progressions, always threatening to fall silent.

— Georges Raillard

This rather short and simple piece has streaks of melancholy, like cut flowers in a vase on the table, which while beautiful, will soon wither and die. The introductory melody, repeated and varied at the end of the piece with its vibratos and slides, invokes a flower stem bending in the breeze.

— Georges Raillard

This piece consists of two movements. While the first movement is largely composed of melodic chord progressions, the main melody in the second movement is single-voiced, repeated in several extended variations.

The first movement begins with two alternating chords, with increasing tempo and dynamics. This conjures up intensifying autumn winds, even storms. At its peak the open window or door is closed and gentle, warm chords emerge, evoking a cozy atmosphere of home. Then, the two alternating chords return, though in reversed order. The second movement creates an introspective, intimate atmosphere, perturbed only by a slight outburst towards the end.

— Georges Raillard

The three main sections of this piece all derive in one way or another from the starting motif, repeated several times within the whole piece. Between the three main sections, several sequences are repeated and varied as interludes.

The title hints towards the growing estrangement we may feel when once-close individuals feel more and more distant. Sometimes we don’t even know the reasons; even if we do know, the grief is not lessened.

— Georges Raillard

This is a “coastal piece,” too, though with a rather rigorous nature. It begins with the main motif: we can imagine a lighthouse braving storms and its lights circling steadfastly. The three middle parts are more delicate, melodic and harmonically richer than the main section. They then lead back to a repetition of the main section.

— Georges Raillard

The first movement of this three-part piece is called “Digging in the Backgrounds,” hinting to never merely trust empirical evidence, but to constantly search for explanations behind the obvious. There is always a hidden motive, an invisible agent, a conspirator to be discovered and unmasked.

In the second movement, “Escaping Bird,” more vibrant than the first, we may imagine oppressed thoughts breaking loose and flying about freely.

The third movement, “Indian Siesta,” is distantly reminiscent of Indian music with its often lulling, meditative atmosphere into which our thoughts may aimlessly wander.

— Georges Raillard

Nocturne is the title of a video created and produced by Swiss filmmaker Andreas Pfiffner, based on my composition. The original title of the piece was Feverish Freezing, due to its obsessive rhythm, its resonant dissonances, its idle circling around nothing.

For the video, David William Ross recorded two quite rigorous, almost brutal versions: one with a classical nylon string guitar, one with an electric guitar. Both versions were used in the video. For this album, David recorded a third version, a bit more free-flowing and less stern.

— Georges Raillard

When I feel listless and uninspired, I enjoy playing this piece as it raises my spirits. I associate it with early spring, the first flower buds peeking out from the melting snow. Vigorous chords sound for several seconds, then contrast with delicate, almost blurred chord progressions. In between, four brief melodies arise. The coda is a gradual expiration, like life falling into a slumber.

— Georges Raillard