Saturday, March 15, 2014

“View From Space”

What is better than space photography, astronauts & guitars? Space photography, astronauts & a harp guitar played by one of today’s top fingerstyle guitar players, Muriel Anderson!

The fact that the general public isn’t aware of Muriel Anderson is certainly not because of her guitar playing skills. A top instrumental performer, she is the first woman to win the National Fingerpicking Championship. But while her technical skills are first rate, she is not merely a skilled technician—she plays an impressive range of music reflecting broad musical tastes, & performs that music with deep musicality. Anderson’s scope is indeed impressive, ranging from old-time country to classical to pop, not to mention her beautiful original compositions. We can get a sense of this range when we discover that her early idol & mentor was Chet Atkins, but that she went on to study classical guitar with Christopher Parkening. & yes, in case you're wondering, Muriel Anderson plays 6-string guitars as well as harp models.

In addition, Anderson is the founder of the non-profit Music for Life Alliance, which brings musical instruction to kids in under-served communities; she also founded & hosts the All Star Guitar Night at the NAMM trade shows. She has issued 17 cd albums (not to mention several compilations, as well as seven dvds—both performance & instructional), including the 2013 release Nightlight Daylight. A particular favorite of mine is the 2003 New Classics for Guitar & Cello, on which she duets with cellist Julie Adams. All of her cds & dvds are available at her website (see link above) as is tab for her compositions in pdf form at a very reasonable $5.00 per song. So guitar players, if you have five bucks to spend & you want to perfect your pinch harmonics, you too can learn to play today’s selection!

Muriel Anderson has the following to say about “View From Space”:

Some years ago astronaut Susan Helms had picked up one of my Heartstrings recordings and told me that “it would be good music to watch the earth by.” It traveled with her 2.5 million miles on the space shuttle “Discovery.” With my harp guitar in my lap, I composed “View from Space” while watching the beautiful images that were taken from the space shuttle.

It’s a wonderful piece of music & a beautiful performance—enjoy!

Image of Muriel Anderson links to its source at

1 comment:

  1. Ah, what a gorgeous sound to find waiting for me to listen to after a long day at work. Thanks, John!


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