The beginnings of starting a new composition are always extremely challenging. Each new work, unavoidably, is the subject of fitting into the canons of the past and creates a dialogue with the legacy of the music that has already been written in that manner. Even if the musical language is innovative, or the artwork unusually expands the compositional practice, still, the process applies. Wanting or not, one automatically compares newly written work for the string quartet to the other existing works of this kind he/she has previously heard. It is not only dictated by the need for judgment or comparison in the music oeuvre. It is simply the need to categorize and refer the subjects to the familiar corresponding backgrounds and enlarging the scenery of the known context in art. However, I am not postulating to fit the musical artworks based on one set of criteria; it would personally seem inappropriate, impoverishing, and myopic, especially by being a composer myself, to treat music so short-sightedly. The beauty of mature growth inside the art world is that under the certain experience and cognition of new works, criteria of judgment classification and comprehension of contemporary works evolve, expand, and the subjective borders of categorization of works get continuously redesigned for each listener.
Stagṓn for guitar, which I worked on between January and April 2020, was created in the described above manner but had an additional story to its creation. For many years, I faced the bizarre fright of writing a piece for classical guitar. I reckon that it is connected to the way I perceive music and arrange the harmonic relations. As a trained pianist, I seem to look at musical networks harmonically-horizontally. It is familiar and somehow imprinted in my compositional nature since childhood when I started to play the piano. This relation to perceiving networks of sounds seems secure but becomes an obstacle while working with the instrument that produces sound quite differently. As a part of training in classical composition at the university, future composers are being acquainted with the art of orchestration and instrumentation, to be free, independent, and flexible in writing or arranging music for all possible instruments. To my astonishment, after so many years after graduation, I realized that the guitar was practically never a subject of the orchestration class and rarely discussed, notwithstanding its often implementation in contemporary music settings since the last century representatively. What follows is uncertainty and insufficient knowledge and flexibility in producing the music for this instrument. It is accurate what Seth F. Josel and Ming Tsao underline in "The Techniques of Guitar Playing", that writing for guitar brings a hassle, for the composers "must be aware of the rich variety of sounds that the guitar itself can produce" and "must be able to notate an array of such techniques so that the performer can properly interpret them". The comfort of creating a new piece with the participation of the performer is not a standard. Usually, the composers need to undergo this challenge alone, with the support of instrumentation books and study of dedicated literature and scores only.
My story with Stagṓn followed precisely the same way. Fortunately, I had a chance to access the instrument while composing my work and experiment with its unfamiliar for me, nature. My husband's advice and guidance, a composer with a B.A. in classical guitar, who stopped performing years ago, was still a life-saver and helped overcome many technical insecurities.