Donut Music is a recent composition for solo guitar. It was commissioned by Keith Calmes. The piece was inspired by a line in a story written by my granddaughter Eillonwy (then 8 years old): “Sitting in a dark room, eating a chocolate donut”. The music represents a stream of memories, images, and thoughts as one’s life is contemplated over a donut.

The composition is in 9 movements...or bites. The movements have varied lengths, from miniatures to developed pieces, and draw upon various roots-based musical styles including blues, Appalachian, tango, jazz, and samba. Miniature compositions have been an interest to me for many years. Donut Music's imagery gave me an opportunity to have several miniature compositions along with the longer movements. The miniatures represent random and quickly changing thoughts. Above all, this piece is meant to be fun and playful -- especially, in how old and new styles are juxtaposed.

Performers have the freedom to shape this music to their vision and personal style. The score has optional improvisation in movements 2 (blues), 7 (tango), and 9 (samba). Happily, Keith did some improv in the samba movement on this recording. He packs a lot of playing into a few measures!

In addition to being performed on guitar, the score can be easily adapted for other instruments such as piano and small ensembles.


Composed by Roger Aldridge. Performed by Keith Calmes, guitar.

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