Welcome to my 7-part series, about Randy Avers.  Randy is one half of the fabulous duo, Les Frères Méduses, who are writing and performing the original, live film score for us that will be performed on June 22nd to open our summer series.  Info here.

When the Alamo’s Tim League asked me about creating an original film score for one of his favorite silent films (“The Unknown,” 1927, Dir. Tod Browning), I knew that no other duo on the planet was more perfect for the task than Randy (who is based now in Norway) and his amazing French duo partner Benoît Albert.  Randy and I went to college together and I wanted to share a few stories.


Meeting (part 1 of 7)

Randy and I met in fall 1993.  I was 17.  He had transferred to Oberlin Conservatory as a sophomore and completely rocked my world.

Sometimes in concert, when I’m talking about one of my favorite pieces – a piece he introduced me to – I am fond of saying that up until the day we met, I was the best guitarist I had ever met!  It’s not true, of course, but in my own little world – apart from my teachers – I had not ever seen truly transcendent playing by a young person.  And that meant I was a very big fish in the little pond of my imagination.

Randy changed all that – and in the best way.

A year or two before, Randy – at 17 – had become the youngest-ever finalist in the world’s most prestigious international guitar competition – The Guitar Foundation of America.  He took second that year.  And when he arrived at Oberlin, it was like a whole new world of music and excellence came rushing into my world along with him.

That “piece” I mentioned above is the Elegy by Johann Kaspar Mertz.  One of my all-time favorites.  The first time I actually cried in a concert hall listening to music was the first time I heard Randy play it. I like to joke that I’m not sure if I was crying from how beautiful his playing was, or how freaked out Matt the 17-year-old guitarist was at seeing such fabulousness on the guitar!

Randy became one of my greatest friends and inspirations.  He was a groomsman at my wedding, and I at his.  He’s been, many times, to Austin over the years to the great delight of all who have heard him.  And we remain incredibly close in spite of the Atlantic Ocean and vast expanses of land between us.

(read part 2 of this series…)