An Interview with Jonathan Roth, part 3

Jonathan Roth: [website][myspace][youtube][part 1 of this interview][part 2 of this interview]


Tell us a bit about your CD Meditations. All your own compositions? Any upcoming recording projects?

Meditations was recorded in the stairwell of Pepperdine’s music building and a practice room in Wheaton Academy’s (my old high school) basement floor by my friend Brandon Jones who is now a sound/mixing engineer in Burbank, CA. Brandon was just looking for someone to help him test out his newly acquired Pro-Tools rig so I offered up my services. I think Be Thou My Vision was the first track we put down, but, after we did a couple more, I realized I was on my way to having my own disc. Six of the ten tracks are original. The other four are hymn arrangements; only one of which is in public domain. So I had to learn about mechanical royalties the hard way! I’m currently recording a new CD called Nostalgia at the Firehouse Studios in Pasadena, CA. My teacher and friend Tim Kobza has been so gracious to get me into the studio on the weekends. Milton Gutierrez is the engineer pushin’ all the buttons. These guys are a blast to work with! Each piece on Nostalgia is connected with a person, place or event who/which was significant in my life. It has a “folksy” feel which is definitely a departure from the first CD, but I’m excited to finish it up and get it out there. The CD should be available by late Spring and the scores will follow.

How is your music published? Self-published?

Yeah, I publish the music myself. I input everything into Finale, save them as PDFs and then e-mail them to Chernay Printing in Coopersburg, PA. They do good work!

So you founded Roth Music Group, what made you decide to go that route?

Roth Music Group is simply a D.B.A. to keep any monies made from sheet music, CDs or licensing separate from teaching and gigs. Also, I was informed that, if I joined BMI as both a writer and a publisher, I would receive 200% in royalties for any performances. Not a bad deal!

Any big upcoming performances or composition projects?

My first DMA recital is Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 8 p.m. in USC’s University Church. May 10 is Mother’s Day – bring your mom! The program will include Giuliani’s Sonata in C (Op. 15), Rodrigo’s Sonata Giocosa, the Grave & Fandango from Boccherini’s fourth guitar quintet and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s “Homage to Boccherini” Sonata. Also, my friend Eva Beneke and I are pulling together a concert of original music for guitar written by USC guitarist/composers. It will be about a month before my recital on Saturday April 11 at 12 p.m. in USC’s Fisher Museum of Art. You’ll hear original music by Eva Beneke, Alex Miller, myself and this year’s featured composer: Carlos Rafael Rivera. Please come! Composition projects? Just trying to finish up two tunes that are going on the new CD: Rocky Mountain Reel and Flat Tire.

What are some of your best tips for guitarists?

Always work hard. Keep a positive attitude (teachers notice). Take advantage of every gig, every master class, every teaching opportunity. Target your unique gifts and develop them whether it is teaching, composing, performing, research or what have you. A verse that has always been inspiring to me is Proverbs 22:29 “Do you see a man who is skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.” Odds are the only person keeping you from doing your very best is you. I speak from experience!

Any final thoughts?

Stop reading this and go practice. ☺

Posted on in Interviews with Classical Guitarists