Nancy Goudinaki, What I Was For You: re.think Review
Nancy Goudinaki is a classical/jazz guitarist, composer, arranger, and vocalist that studied with master classical guitarist Costas Cotsiolis and received her Master’s in Musicology/Fine Arts, her BA, and Masters with honors in classical guitar. Her latest project incorporates original compositions and modern renditions of classical guitar masterpieces like Fuoco and la Catedral utilizing different harmonies and vocalizations to create an album with a strong foundation in classical music while hinting at Latin jazz and Neu-Classical sonorities. Titled, What I Was For You: re.think, the album focuses on works in a celebration of women. Every woman goes through phases in her life, and the different stages inspired Goudinaki in her personal life to compose these tunes. The songs traverse a woman in love, a heartbroken woman, a homesick woman, and a woman who will be an aunt. Goudinaki further explains, “a big part of my inspiration is my niece Ariadne, to whom I was inspired and composed a special lullaby.” Besides performing on solo nylon-strung guitar, Goudinaki collaborates with Richie Goods (electric bass on track 4), JD Allen (tenor saxophone on track 3), and Devo D. (backup vocals on tracks 1&5). Goudianki, the instrumentalist, offers ten tracks, with two tracks featuring Goudinaki adding vocals. At the core of the album are Goudinaki’s solid playing and writing, and arranging skills. This reveals her as a seasoned guitarist who has been playing since she was eight.
What I Was For You: re.think opens with a confident rendition of Augustine Barrios’ “La Catedral.” Goudinaki uncovers the well-known piece with beautiful touch and clarity in technique. She brings emotion with her dynamics and excitement with her articulations. Furthering her creative approach to the composition, Goudinaki adds vocalizations that softly color the harmonic flow of the piece, giving a rich texture and personal touch that is unique and expressive. Roland Dyens’ “Fuoco” is another classical piece that allows Goudinaki to express her spotless technical abilities while still being communicative and impassioned. Goudinaki’s “Nereids” features the warm bass tones of Goods; together, they spin a web of Neu-Classical sounds that are soothing and beautiful. “One night in Caldera” is a Spanish guitar composition by Goudinaki that brings her elegant touch to many Spanish guitar sounds as she unfolds her heartfelt melody. “El Ultimo Canto” is another Barrios composition that displays Goudinaki’s right-hand tremolo technique and romantic touch on the guitar. Overall, What I Was For You: re.think is a beautiful collection of classical guitar tones, compositions, and arrangements that will warm your heart and leave you feeling romantic and centered. That’s the short of it!
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What I Was For You: re.think
June 17, 2022