MP3 Michael Perlowin - Spanish Steel - Capriccio Espagnol, El Amor Brujo and Other Spanish Classics
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20 MP3 Songs in this album (53:41) !
Related styles: CLASSICAL: Orchestral, AVANT GARDE: Classical Avant-Garde
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Michael Perlowin started playing the guitar at the age of 13, after hearing the Kingston trioâs recording of âTom Dooley.â Originally intending to be a folk singer, Michael soon discovered that his talents as a guitarist far outweighed his abilities as a singer. It was not long before others made that same discovery, and, by age 16, Michael was working as an accompanist in the Los Angeles folk music circuit of the early â60s. The decade wore on and Michael, like many folk musicians, went electric; playing lead guitar in local rock bands.
In 1969, Michael got married and settled down to working in a music store, teaching music and selling instruments. His dreams of becoming a rock star had faded, but in 1975, his life took an unexpected turn. By virtue of being in the right place at the right time, Michael was offered the lead guitar slot on a working Country and Western band. Michael knew absolutely nothing about country music, but with his folk and rock background and experience in accompanying singers, he quickly adapted to the new genre.
When the band broke up, as bands do, Michael started freelancing around L.A. as a lead guitarist on the suburban C&W scene. It wasnât long before he became captivated by the pedal steel guitar. In 1979, Michael began studying this complicated instrument, leading to an all consuming, intensely passionate obsession that continues to this day. Perlowin, who jokingly calls himself a âsteel-aholic,â adds that the intricacies and mysteries of the instrument cause most other players to feel the same way. Within 6 months of beginning to play, Michael was working as a steel guitarist, often for the same people for whom he had previously played lead guitar.
The Urban Cowboy craze of the early â80s proved to be very fertile ground for steel guitarists. There were more jobs than players, and Michael worked hard for the next couple of years. But the craze also marked the death of the local C&W scene where Michael had honed his skills on the steel. As the auto plants closed up shop, the blue collar workers who had frequented the C&W bars moved away. Clubs were shuttered, and gigs became harder to find. Simultaneously, Michael had tired of playing the same songs night after night, and was searching for something different.
That âsomething differentâ turned out to be classical music. After hearing a recording of Debussyâs âThe Maid With The Flaxen Hairâ by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith, Michael realized his passion to transcribe and play classical music on the pedal steel guitar.
Michael built a home studio, learned how to record music, and dove into years of exploring and perfecting a wide range of classical songs on the steel. His first album, Firebird Suite, is a collection of works by Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok, Shostakovich, Gershwin, Satie and Copland. His second album is an interpretation of the score of West Side Story, which he recorded in its entirety. The third, Spanish Steel, features music from or about Spain, including Manuel de Fallaâs âEl Amor Brujoâ and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakovâs âCapriccio Espagnol,â as well as some less well-known pieces.
Michaelâs dream is to introduce this beautiful and expressive instrument to the world of classical music, where it is still relatively unknown. It is his goal to become the very first pedal steel guitar concert artist. To that end, he enjoys making guest appearances with his steel guitar, accompanying fellow concert artists during their solo performances in the Los Angeles area.
In addition to his recordings, Michael is also the author of a music theory instruction book published by Mel Bay Publications entitled âMusic Theory In The Real World: A Practical Guide For Todayâs Musicians.â
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