Sam Cave, Raymond Burley, Dana Chivers and Michael Kelly...Dear Gilbert,
I have got to the end of Liber Volume 1 and wanted to respond with a testimonial as it was a moving experience to read it. The ideas are so clear yet rich, and they reflect the ideas that I have been arriving at in recent years, particularly about the validity of articulations and sound colours etc, but tempered, filled out and infinitely enriched by a life-time of careful thought, study and meditation that I have yet to achieve.
So here goes:-
'Primarily, Liber communicates joy; the joy of careful, patient and dedicated study, the joy of hard work, honesty and self-improvement. It is the story of discovering how to try to play the most perfect note of which you can conceive, in all the colours (for all the contexts) you can imagine, and how it can be connected to the next. This book contains the fruits of Gilbert's life-time of careful thought, study and meditation; it demands not only to be read but deeply considered. For all those serious about their guitar playing, it is a must.'
Thank you for writing it! Looking forward to Volume 2
The first volume of Biberian's book 'Liber' is a major contribution to the guitar's technical literature. It deals with all aspects of articulation in a logical and concise matter aided by copius examples from the guitar repertory. It is invaluable to players of all standards and (particularly) to teachers of the instrument. It's the book I wish I'd written.
One of the lesser known titles by the American author Henry Miller is a small tome called To Paint is to Love Again. Volume 1 of Gilbert?s Liber, The Book of the Guitar, could perhaps paraphrase the title using a similar thought. ?To Play is to Love Again?.
After a month?s forced holiday from my usual work schedule, I returned to the instrument a few days ago not with the elation I customarily feel, but rather dreading the task of getting my fingers back into shape and preparing for my next engagements.
I had been honoured recently with an early copy of Liber; I placed on my music stand a few weeks earlier and fully intended to look at it ? sometime soon. Having half-heartedly played a few notes, I reached over and opened up it and began to read.
Immediately the voice of my beloved friend transcended time and space and sang out from the page. Gilbert?s particular lyrical eloquence, his amazing clarity of thought, his formidable powers of analysis are all, from the first word, majestically and thought- provokingly present. His profound love of music and the instrument, and his depth of experience all contribute to make this a unique and foundational offering to those interested in the joys and rewards that accompany a quest for truth on the guitar.
Having intended to glance at a few pages, I suddenly found myself engrossed in and uplifted by the text. On and on I read skipping gleefully from here to there a little like a lad in a candy shop. The anima that permeates the work performed its magic. The feeling of fatigue had disappeared. The old familiar desire to soar was back again and inspired by just a few of the wonderful pearls of wisdom in this book. To pick up this treasure ?is to Love ( the Art of Playing the Guitar) Again?
Gilbert, Mon Cher, you have produced what will come to be known as a major contribution to the world of instrumental pedagogy. There are many principles and insights enounced in Liber that other instrumentalists will one day recognize as useful and inspiring. The work will cross frontiers; Liber will take its place besides C.P.E. Bach?s On the Art of Keyboard Playing or Heinrich Neuhaus? Art of Piano Playing as one of the cornerstones documents on the art of musical interpretation. Dana Chivers, France 2013
?The final two decades of the 20th Century will surely be seen as a Golden Age in guitar education.??? (Luke Dunlea ? ?Jigsaw?)
Well, the Golden Age continues and Gilbert Biberian?s ?LIBER? may well be the jewel in the crown, for this method truly represents a fantastic addition to the above-mentioned recent history in classical guitar pedagogy.? However, it is not for the dilettante or the faint-of-heart because here is a method of such depth and incisiveness that it demands the exact level of commitment to concentration and diligence that mastering the guitar demands.
Of course, this is no surprise because I understand ?LIBER? represents a synthesis of Gilbert?s work as teacher/player/composer of over 40 years at the highest level.? What an inspiring wealth and source of knowledge!? I don?t know where to start!? Back to the beginning...AGAIN!