Still Life is a collection of solo guitar pieces that began to take shape during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each piece is dedicated to a different person in my life. As such, the album explores themes of friendship, longing, nostalgia, and love.

Musically, the album sits in between classical and fingerstyle guitar traditions. The compositions are rooted in classical technique and tone, but draw upon fingerstyle idioms such as alternate bass, pattern picking, and open tuning. Melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic motifs spring from a diverse well of musical traditions that inspire me: American and Mexican folk music, Malian blues, Javanese gamelan, and Hindustani classical music, to name a few.

The album’s title references our collective stillness during periods of lockdown in 2020. The title is also a reference to my practice of finding stillness during times of mourning and the comfort that comes from remembering that death is part of the cycle of life—it is still life. The album’s cover is a still life photograph of a preserved bouquet of flowers blossoming from the guitar’s sound hole. Like the gift of flowers, the music on Still Life is ultimately a gift of love.

– Philip Graulty

released May 27, 2024

Produced by Philip Graulty
Engineered and Mixed by Louis Ng
Mastered by Louis Ng at Lenson Productions
Design by Philip Graulty

Recorded November 19, 2023 at the Recording Studio at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, CA.

Guitar: Jose L. Vigil, 2015
Artwork: Philip Graulty, “Still Life with Guitar,” 2024

My deepest gratitude to those who inspired and/or supported this body of work: Jeana Kim Graulty, Vijay Gupta, Brandon Mayer, Rachel Mellis, Judy Mitoma, Louis Ng, Marc Nimoy, James Waterman, and Peter Yates. To my many families—the Graultys, the Kims, the Litonjuas, the Mastersons, the Nimoys, the Reynas, Bridge to Everywhere, and Street Symphony—thank you for your love and encouragement.

In memory of John Graulty, Raul Litonjua Jr., JT Nimoy, Wendell Pascual, Arthur Reyna Jr., and Fnu Sunardi.

All music written by Philip Graulty, Graulty Music (ASCAP).

© ℗ 2024 Twelfth Fret Records. All Rights Reserved.