I Hope

I Hope

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Music by Paul Chasman  

Guitars: Paul Chasman, Doug Smith 
Cello: Hamilton Cheifetz 

Chasman's intricate arrangements are...creative...effective...well conceived and illustrate (his) deft playing skills and harmonic and melodic gifts as well as his ability to develop his compositional ideas in the ensemble format.

—Acoustic Guitar

I first recorded I Hope on my 1986 Solo Man cassette, and it became a staple of my steel-string repertoire. In 1998, the gifted luthier Jeffrey Elliott built a wonderful classical guitar for me, and on this guitar, I Hope underwent a transformation. I began to hear the rhythm less rigidly. I allowed for more space, more ebb and flow. I heard a multitude of voices chanting the phrase, “I hope,” and I learned to let them sing. The Elliott guitar gave the music beautiful new tonal colors. I Hope took on new depth and meaning. 

When I began to develop the concept for this cd, the spirit of I Hope became the focal point from which the music evolved. I wrote ten pieces for two guitars and cello, emphasizing instrumental interplay as if for a string ensemble. By opening the program with my solo rendition of I Hope and closing with the trio version, I reenforced the theme throughout. My dad, who has always been one of my strongest supporters and critical listeners, has told me that I Hope is his favorite of my pieces. I dedicate the song and this CD to him. 

Many thanks to Hamilton Cheifetz and Doug Smith for taking this musical adventure with me. I Hope picks up where our last collaboration, Songs from the Bay left off. Hamilton Cheifetz studied with the great Janos Starker, plays worldwide with the Florestan Trio and the Third Angle Ensemble, and is professor of cello at Portland State University. Hamilton’s playing is elegant, and I am lucky to get him in his spare time! Doug Smith and I began working together in 1995 as part of the Acoustic Guitar Summit. He has recorded more than a dozen solo cds, and he contributes to movies and television. Doug has the ability to make anybody sound better! It is a joy to hear my music interpreted by two consummate musicians who exude musicality with every note they play. 

CARROWKEEL- In 1980 I was travelling in County Sligo, Ireland, with artist Joanna Priestley. Atop a remote hill we came upon a passage grave, or Carrowkeel: one of many built around 2500 BC by people of Spanish or Breton origin. The Carrowkeel was built of stone, looking from the outside like a pile of rubble. Entry was on hands and knees via a narrow tunnel, and inside was a small main chamber about seven feet high, flanked by three smaller alcoves. Joanna was carrying 100 paraffin candles in her pack, and she proceeded to transform the lightless chamber into a glowing cathedral, one little flame at a time. There was barely room for Joanna, my tripod and me, especially as more and more candles were lit, but the resulting photographs are a fair representation of the magic we felt at the time.

R. Dennis Wiancko, Photographer

From left to right: Hamilton Cheifetz, Paul Chasman, Doug Smith

I Hope is dedicated to my dad, Dan Chasman, who, throughout my life has been my most important model of a sensitive, loving, compassionate man.

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Old School, by Paul Chasman and the "Great Gatleys"


Accompanied by Dan and Laurie Gatley on bass and vocals, Paul Chasman returns with 11 new original tunes that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you think. With his trademark sparkling guitar at the forefront, Paul’s poetic lyrics contrast life and mortality; grief and celebration; and light that penetrates the dark.