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Sean Shibe

Homepage of the Scottish Classical Guitarist

Last night I was walking through the cloisters of the church of St. John the Evangelist and came across a poster detailing the forthcoming season, then realised that I’d actually performed at this church once before – around 10 years ago, with the National Youth Guitar Ensemble of Great Britain! NYGE is steadily growing in playing level, and is one of the institutions that was important for me to have been a part of at that stage in my musical development – any teenage guitarist should consider joining.

Then, just as now, Gerald Garcia made an appearance and we did the selfie thing with lovely Alison Bendy et al.


Then we tried the selfie thing again.

It’s getting cold, winter is here and this morning saw the frost of the cold snap across the hazy old lands of St. John’s College.

An arrangement of Janacek’s ‘Good Night’

Over 2016 I played 3 arrangements from Janacek’s ‘On an Overgrown Path’ which, though significantly inspired by Pavel Steidl’s magical ideas, I arranged myself.

The 15 pieces which make up the suite are stunning. Innocent yet mature, naive but still cynical, weightless, and dark.

I realised that my sketches might prove of some use to another guitarist if they were to need a place to start in making their own. The solutions I offer are not always the most practical or efficient, but I feel satisfied with them. The integrity of the phrase is usually maintained, provided the shifts are managed with necessary dexterity.

Good luck! And if not playing them, then a good new reworking!

janacek-good-night-p-1

janacek-good-night-p-2

janacek-good-night-p-3

janacek-good-night-p-4

Given the last 6 months or so, we might be inclined to despair and the thought that we haven’t come very far. Don’t worry, I’ve found a reminder of our progress!

For Christmas my father gave me the first four issues of the Halle Orchestra magazine. It makes for some reading that is very much…of its time. The picture accompanying the first and most hilarious paragraph is Stuart Knussen,  father of British composer/conductor Oliver Knussen!

Feeling small in York 

Maxwell Davies: An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise

Several reviews have come through for the Maxwell Davies CD collaboration with the ever amazing Scottish Chamber Orchestra, from The Observer and The Financial Times among others.

The Herald: “So back to the new disc: and we must say a word about Sean Shibe, the still-young Scottish guitarist…with the most beautiful, resonant and soulful performance of Max’s Farewell to Stromness, probably the Max piece that is everybody’s favourite – which was played by a local fiddler at the composer’s funeral. Shibe also gives an intense and deadly-accurate performance of Max’s Hill Runes, free of the scratches and scrapes that blemish so much guitar playing.”

McAllister Matheson newsletter: “This fascinating disc combines newer works with old-established favourites. Orchestral pieces alternate with works for solo guitar, the latter played by young Edinburgh-born guitarist Sean Shibe. He gives a rare account of Hill Runes, a series of five characterful miniatures inspired by George Mackay Brown’s enigmatic poem of that name. The music’s nature is more akin to lute music; apparently Max was trying to find a way of writing for the guitar that was in no way ‘Spanish’. Shibe is a persuasive advocate for the work, and also gives a warm-hearted performance of Farewell to Stromness.”

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