About "A Renaissance Portrait":
This CD is a collection of some of my favorite pieces for solo lute from the early 1500's in Italy and Spain to the beginnings of the Baroque period in England and France. Included here are selections from a variety of musical traditions including dance, sacred, art, and incidental music from masques. I find the music of the lute to be at once relaxing and celebratory, and just the right thing for quiet moments, relaxation, and reflection. I believe there is tremendous value in connecting with the ancient, and I feel that Early Music--lute music in particular--touches something deep and profound within people, and can be just the tonic to soothe and calm after a difficult day spent in the hyper-kinetic reality that is the 21st Century.
Richard Griffith, 2008
About Richard Griffith:
Lutenist Richard Griffith became interested in music at an early age, after seeing footage of Elvis Presley performing on the Ed Sullivan show, and began teaching himself to play guitar at the age of 10. He first discovered an affinity for Early Music as a student at the University of Minnesota in the 1980's, where his coursework included the history and art of Renaissance Europe. Richard took up the lute in 2001, studying Renaissance lute and vihuela da mano with Twin Cities Early Music mainstays Paul Berget and Phillip Rukavina. Following the encouragement of Berget, who once told him, "you must perform and perform often--if you wait to perform until you play as well as your heroes, you may never perform at all," Richard has performed in a variety of venues, include formal concerts, Renaissance fairs, and Scottish festivals in the Minnesota/Iowa/Wisconsin area. He is active in promoting Early Music and the lute to a new audience and regularly performs in non-traditional Early Music venues such as coffee houses, shopping centers and bookstores. He is a founding member of the Twin Cities, MN Lute Cooperative and has co-produced, hosted and regularly performed at the monthly St. Paul Early Music casual concert series “Thursday at the Lute Cafe.” Richard has released two CD’s of Renaissance lute music. The first, “Bonny Sweete Boy: Lute Music from the Scottish Renaissance” was released in December of 2005. His second CD, “A Renaissance Portrait,” was released in January of 2007, and he is hoping to release a third CD of Renaissance lute music in Spring 2009.
In addition to Renaissance lute, Richard has performed as a magician, mentalist and guitarist and on euphonium and trombone with Minnesota brass ensembles. He has released a CD of satirical songs, spoken word pieces and instrumentals titled "The Tool Factory Project" and continues to pursue eclectic musical interests, performing and recording original songs and instrumental pieces ranging across a wide spectrum of musical influences, including rock and roll, jazz, ethnic sounds and electronic music.