Duo blends Spanish sounds

Natalie Houalla

Showcasing the talents of flutist Paul Fried and guitarist Randy Pile, solo and entertaining duets were performed in “An Evening of Flute and Guitar” in the McKinney Theatre on Jan. 18.

Expectations were high for this performance because of the caliber of both men’s previous work and extensive resumes.

“I think it is going to be really good,” said returning student Brian Ward, math. “I had heard Randy Pile’s music before and I took a beginning classical guitar class with him. I have been a fan of [Paul Fried’s] music for a very long time.”

There were neither lavish stage setups nor extensive lighting features. Instead, the stage was dimly lit with shades of blue and peach and adorned with a single chair, later accompanied by a music stand. The simplicity of the setup demanded a remarkable performance in order to captivate the audience.

Both Fried and Pile met this demand with a notable display of talent and professionalism. With a captive audience of varying ages and walks of life, it was presumably difficult but clearly feasible to draw in attentive eyes and ears throughout the entire musical performance.

The show commenced with the tranquil “Grand Solo of Fernando Sor,” and closed with the edgy duet “Histoire Du Tango of Astor Piazzolla.” The diversity of the music pieces and their compositions were maintained through smoothly transitioned variations of tempo and rhythm which entranced the audience with their delicate allure.

“My favorite selection would definitely be the ‘Five Preludes'” said Brittany Sand, 20, business. “I enjoyed listening to Randy Pile explain their background and introduce each one before he played it.”

The styles and execution of the music were outstanding and unique. The combination of a flute and acoustic guitar in one performance seemed like an unusual pair, but proved to be not only atypical in the most positive sense of the word, but also alluring and seductive.

Fried and Pile alike uphold extraordinarily versatile training and performance backgrounds. They have both appeared not only in the United States, but also China, New Zealand, the South Pacific and various parts of Europe.

Both artists have a number of CDs available, including Fried’s “La Flute Francais” and “Flute Flavors,” and Pile’s “Duo Cantilena,” “Visitations and Explorations,” and “Songs of Forbidden Love and Forgotten Dances ”

They continue to perform today, Fried with the New West Symphony and Pile with the California Arts Council. Pile also is a professor Irvine Valley College, where he teaches beginning classical guitar lessons.

The musicians put on a vivid and heartfelt performance which will captivate the minds and ears of every audience member regardless of musical knowledge.

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