Nancy Goudinaki, What I Was For You: re.think Review
by Jeff Becker
Nancy Goudinaki is a composer, vocalist, and guitarist that incorporates original compositions and modern renditions of classical guitar masterpieces. Her latest album is What I Was For You: re.think, on which she focuses on female composers. 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. Nancy furthers, “a big part of my inspiration is my niece Ariadne, to whom I was inspired and composed a special lullaby.” Goudinaki self-produced What I Was For You: re.think and had the honor of collaborating with world-renown artists such as Mr. Richie Goods, Mr. JD Allen, and Mr. Devo D. The album offers ten tracks, with two tracks featuring Goudinaki adding vocals.
Opening the album is a favorite from the classical guitar repertoire, Augustine Barrios’ “La Catedral.” Goudinaki performs the piece at a brisk pace and with clean technique. After introducing the first theme, Goudinaki adds vocalizations to color the solo guitar with vocal harmonies. The result is a beautiful building of textures and expanded colors to the original composition. The core of the song’s achievement is Goudinaki’s powerful performance and fluid guitar technique.
Goudinaki’s “One night in Caldera” comes across as melodic, passionate, and a mix of Flamenco and Latin. The delightfully imaginative playing is framed by Goudinaki’s elegant use of dynamics and various right-hand techniques. The selection quickly becomes an instant stunner: with corners and with edges, complete control, zero fluff, and total tonal beauty.
What I Was For You: re.think brings emotions of the feminine into the realm of classical, world, and Latin as Goudinaki explores these powerful sentiments. Classical guitar playing has different styles and preferences, but Goudinaki combines fresh approaches to the traditional repertoire and rich textures with her originals. The result is a translucent musical journey between classical and world music.
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