About 3 years ago my wife asked me to
record holiday tunes and
traditional Christmas carols on my classical guitar.
So I did ... and I'm making available what's done - and adding to the recordings each year.
They are available below for listening, downloading, burning-to-CDs, and generally playing for your enjoyment (i.e. they are all free).
I would love to hear back from you, on whether or not you liked them, or any suggestion you have for improvements... and enjoy!
Jon Sayles: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click the name of the song below...
|The 2011 submission - a sort of indie/country version of a traditional carol - in three sections, with the final section that quotes from other carols. Enjoy.|
|Up-tempo - a hall in a hurry :-)|
|While sitting in my office, all comfy and warm and safe, I got a note from a marine stationed in Iraq last week, wondering if I'd ever thought to record Silent Night. So - I don't have a lot to offer a guy who's putting his life on the line for me - and us, except to say - Yes Geoff, I did. This one goes out to you - and to all your friends and the men and women in arms who keep us safe and comfy and warm in our offices. Thanks man - this is the least I can do. And for anyone out there who'd like to drop Geoff a line, here's his eMail: email@example.com Geoffrey Gilbert - Semper Fidelis.|
|So, here it is 2009 - a year later and well - what a year it's been, huh? Lucky for all of us guys like Geoff are still out there - and we can only thank them ('though it's not nearly enough for the sacrifices they make). Geoff thought the Holiday Site could use a nice rendition of "Away in a Manger". Hope this works for you, Geoff. Merry Christmas. Stay safe - and I'm looking forward to you the 2010 carol request. Deal?|
|Slow and somber. In fact, I was amazed as I sifted through the Christmas carol literature at how MANY carols are slow ... and... somber. A friend of mine reminded me that a lot these pieces were written for, and played in church... during the not-so-roaring 1800's. Good point!|
|Stately and serene. It's amazing how much classical guitar ensemble reminds you of choral sounds.|
|One of my kid-favorites. I was always a sucker for counter-point.|
|Not one of my kid-favorites, but much more fun to play - and listen to on guitar(s) than to sing. But maybe it's just that I sing so out of tune children have been known to cry when hearing me! ☺|
|This is a pretty arrangement - sort of nostalgic sounding.|
|A jazzy intro leads to a creative mix of this traditional Saxon tune with an Early Music melody named: My Lady Carey...|
|A folk-guitar accompaniment for this pretty lullaby.|
|This stately and grand tune came out much better than I would have thought. Sounds almost like a Bach Chorale.|
|This traditional lute song (lutes were the grandfather of guitars) receives a contemporary chordal accompaniment, then|
|Finally - a quick and uplifting, dance-like carol. Nice stuff - French in origin (maybe it's the wine which takes the edge off, but French Renaissance music doesn't seem to tend to the overly dark and moody).|
|A gorgeous solo voice arrangement from a piano book.|
|Kind of pops oriented. But fun to play!|
|I used an old Flamenco guitar technique to simulate an ancient drum sound on this one (got a little carried away at the end, too)!|
|This beautiful 12th century melody is one of my favorites.|
|A gorgeous and romantic oldie.|
|No holiday set is complete without this one.|
|One of my dad's favorites... I can hear him singing now, with a clear (and in-tune) baritone.....|
|This old English tune is given new life inside this neat guitar-choral arrangement.|
|As humble as it is magnificent, this old tune is transcribed for 3-parts (possibly to be added on), and guitar accompaniment.|
|A kind of Christmas-polka version of this cool old 50's carol|
|This started off as a
tribute to James Taylor/style arrangement but got out of hand. I will
also add a few supporting vocal tracks in a bit.
This selection is dedicated to the memory of my mom, Joann Wood Sayles - who loved Christmas, and songs like this. I know she's in a happier place now - see you someday, mom. J
|A fabulous oldie - 8 separate guitar parts makes this one of the "big production #s" of the group.|
|Cool 50's jazzy arrangement ... sort of an ode to Fred Waring's Xmas arrangements I used to listen to and love growing up.|
|Hopefully Bing's not rolling over in his grave over this one. It actually was pretty easy to record.|
|Sentimental (romantic?) - just the stuff of Christmas made specially for lovers (and soul-mates!)|
|A bit like Brian May meets Kris Kringle - but fun, bouncy and appropriately rhythmic.|
|Starts off with a passionate tenor aria, and then intersperses solos with the guitar chorus.|
|Lovely carol - popular in WWII (thanks Bob) - 4 tracks, with an attempt at an island-sounding ending (with an emphasis on attempt) :-)|
|A contemporary take on the classic. Sorry about the lengthy jam at the end (can you say, "indulgent"?). But it was fun to play.|
|Another Geoff Gilbert suggestion (see above.... as usual great pick, man!). And thanks again Geoff - for your service in the cause of our freedom and security. Looking forward to next year's request.|
To hear more classical guitar music that sounds a lot like the holidays, visit the Early Music page!