THE PERFORMING COMPOSER
Frederic Hand isn't bound by time or style. He moves between musical styles unconsciously, he says, performing renaissance, baroque, jazz and American folk with equal ease. His versatility may stem from his background.
"My formal training was classical," he says, "but because I was living in New York at a very young age, I was exposed to many kinds of musicians . . . Transitions between styles should be a natural process. A piece I wrote recently, 'The Passionate Pilgrim,' starts in renaissance and when it ends, it sounds a little like Keith Jarrett."
Hand won a Fulbright scholarship to study guitar with master Julian Bream,but at the present he said, "More and more I've felt like a composer that plays music . . . For the past couple years, I have not really been touring. I've been heavily into composing for films and TV. Actually, I've been doing a lot of work for soap operas. When you compose for a soap opera, they'll tell you, 'We need three happys, two sads, one melancholy.' You compose for a particular emotion . . . It's a wonderful way to make a living and not travel around the country all the time."
On one of his rare out-of-town performances, the New York-based Hand will appear Friday at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall playing guitar, lute and vihuela, a Spanish forerunner of the guitar. He will perform works by Gaspar Sanz and Michael Praetorius, as well as his own compositions.