The seeds of this recording were planted many years ago. As a teenage classical guitarist, I used to spend a lot of time playing other peoples’
transcriptions of renaissance and baroque music. Little did I know, that many of the pieces I played were actually taken from the ‘Varietie of Lute Lessons’.
When I discovered the lute (accidentally) in my first year as an undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music, I found myself returning to some of the same pieces, except this time, in their proper context. Not only did I have to develop a Braille system for notating lute tablature (with the help of Tim Crawford), but I then had to spend hours manually writing the pieces out on a clunky old braille typewriter. I taught a number of my student friends to read tablature, and we would spend valuable and precious time each week writing out one or two new pieces.
I used to spend hours in the basement of the library, listening to recordings of one of my great idols, Julian Bream – deciding which piece to write out and learn next. Since then, it has always been a burning ambition of mine to one day record the Varietie of Lute Lessons, and some 15 years after my initial forays into this stunning repertoire, it felt right to finally commit the pieces to disc.