Calgary-based classical guitarist Ben Lahring has released his second album, a work of originality and shimmering beauty. Highly recommended.
Courtesy of the artist ~ album release date September 23, 2022
Driftwood was recorded 10 years after my first album, My Stage (released August 2012). Over half the tracks are original compositions: Tracks 4-6 are a three-movement work titled Firstborn of the Dead – a piece with some religious connotations stemming from my time as a church Music Director/Pastor. Track 9, Over The Pacific, is a 2021 revisiting of themes that I first composed about 20 years ago while living in tropical Darwin, Australia. Track 10, Driftwood, takes inspiration from Poem on his birthday by Dylan Thomas. Just as Thomas composed his poem in reaction to his 35th birthday, I composed Driftwood as a 35-year-old reflecting on life and aging. Track 11, Fair Winds and Following Seas, is a solemn farewell that acknowledges loss while anticipating newness.
~ Ben Lahring
1. Lullaby for my Love Liona Boyd
2. Bound By Shadows William Beauvais
3. El Testament d’Amelia Traditional Catalan (arr. Miguel Llobet)
4. Firstborn of the Dead – the garden Ben Lahring
5. Firstborn of the Dead – the curse Ben Lahring
6. Firstborn of the Dead – the promise Ben Lahring
7. Searching for a Chorale Seymour Bernstein
8. A Closed World of Fine Feelings and Grand Design Graeme Koehne
9. Over the Pacific Ben Lahring
10. Driftwood Ben Lahring
11. Fair Winds and Following Seas Ben Lahring
Album Title: Driftwood
Release Date: September 23, 2022
Instruments: Solo Guitar
Artist: Ben Lahring
Engineer: Ralph Maier
Photography and Design: Dayla Lahring
Recorded in the Doolittle Studio at the University of Calgary, June 2022
Ben Lahring’s formative years were spent in tropical Darwin, Australia. He began his classical guitar training with Stephan Bulmer at Charles Darwin University, Aus., where he graduated with a Certificate III in Music (2004) while still in high school.
Ben earned his Bachelor of Music (2008) from Wesley Institute in Sydney, Aus., studying guitar with Philip Moran. His undergraduate studies also encompassed singing, choral conducting and composition. During this time, Ben maintained a weekly performance residency at the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel.
In 2008, Ben moved to New York City, where he took lessons with Ben Verdery and was an active member of the New York City Classical Guitar Society. While in New York, he worked with Dave Hedin of Metrolight Music to record his first album of solo guitar works.
At the end of 2012, Ben moved to Alberta, Canada, and spent the next decade working in church music. As Music Director and Worship Pastor, he regularly led church services and choir rehearsals. During this period, he studied singing with John Tessier at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and choral conducting with Humberto Vargas in Calgary.
As a Master of Music (2023) scholarship student at the University of Calgary, Ben studies guitar with Dr. Ralph Maier and has completed several Graduate Teaching Assistantships. He is currently employed as a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Laurie Radford.
Ben has benefited from instruction at guitar festivals including the Darwin International Guitar Festival, Le Domaine Forget de Charlevoix, and GuitarFest West. Additional lessons with Patrick Roux and Iliana Matos, as well as masterclasses and workshops with Jason Vieaux, Jerome Ducharme, Johan Smith, Judicael Perroy, and Rene Izquierdo, amongst others, have also been influential in the development of his playing.
Ben is an Academy Delegate of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and a Writer Member of the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). He currently serves as the Vice President of the Calgary Classical Guitar Society.