I haven’t been posting much on my blog lately. That doesn’t mean that nothing is going on. Tons of things have happened since my last blog post, but I’ve been too busy to stop and reflect on my work on this website. So here it goes, my first blog post in quite a while—I promise I will be posting more often starting… Now!
First off: I know, it says “Matthew Lister: Classical Guitar” on the website, but where you aware that I am also a classical ukuleleist? I’ve been writing a number of arrangements lately for guitar and ukulele. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been up to:
Here’s my arrangement of the John Williams’s “Imperial March” from Star Wars:
Just call me UKE SKYWALKER! *groan* No more puns, promise…
And yes, I have to confess that I have been sucked into the show “Downton Abbey.” What can I say? I’m a sucker for period dramas. Can’t wait for season 3! Here’s my version of the theme song for guitar and ukulele:
Compare mine to the original (I included more of the original piece in my arrangement than the TV show intro):
I plan on taking the whole “Cosplay YouTube Arrangement” thing I’ve been doing to the next level this year. More videos coming soon! Watch out for the video I have planned for Halloween. If all goes according to plan it’s going to be a doozy… Last year’s Halloween video really set the bar since it got featured in Doctor Who Magazine and on the BBC website. It’s going to be hard to top that so that’s why this year I’m going for over the top!
So why haven’t I made any new YouTube videos for 2 whole months? For starters, the amount of arranging I had to do for weddings this Summer was INSANE! It’s nice to have the gigs but I spent more time arranging for weddings than I did for YouTube over the Summer (What can I say? I need to make rent!). I regret nothing because one of those arrangements is *definitely* going up on my channel this year. This tune will be a departure from my normal YouTube cosplay arrangements and more of a return to form for me in terms of covering pop music. I know, why wouldn’t I do something a little more obscure? Typically I don’t go for well known stuff but I had to make an exception this time…
Reason Number 2 for the lack of YouTube-age: My YouTube accomplice/partner in crime Nick Lanzer got married! And yes, I did play his wedding ceremony just like he played mine. Nick just got back from his honeymoon which is why we couldn’t record any of the YouTube arrangements we were working on. Right now we have a backlog of stuff so my channel is going to EXPLODE very soon!
Reason Number 3, and the biggest reason, that I haven’t made any new videos is the fact that I am working on an album of original material and arrangements. The first third of the album is already out as an EP entitled “Guitar Duets, Mozart Minuets.” Click here to listen to the whole thing streaming for free! Yay Bandcamp embedded player!
The rest of the album is comprised of all original compositions and 2 more arrangements. I plan on putting the whole album up on Bandcamp and iTunes next Summer. My best seller on iTunes/Bandcamp thus far is still my cover of the Princess Bride:
It still blows me away how popular this arrangement is! This single is still going strong on iTunes! I’m hoping the audience that found me through my Princess Bride arrangement will enjoy my original work as well.
So there you have it: New album, new YouTube arrangements, a ton of gigs, and a full roster of guitar and ukulele students for the Fall… All this means that I am going out of my mind with work. And yes, I couldn’t be happier about all of it.
Oh! One more thing! I got my Subway Performer’s License and started busking in the Boston T! I will be tweeting my location when I do it so there you have it—a very rare opportunity to hear me perform live on a random Sunday! Just follow me @mattguitarman on Twitter! (*WARNING* I tweet about the nerdy stuff I like a lot…) Lately I’ve been playing guitar/violin arrangements with the very talented Betty Widerski. Look for us in the Boston Subway sometime!