Guitar Duo at Tree of Life

Celebrating Life through Music: Wisdom of Spirit

Sunday, July 22, 2018 10:45am

It is a summer of music at Tree of Life. Classical guitarists Bert Lams and Fabio Mittino will present a program of music from their album “Long Ago” during the worship service at Tree of Life on Sunday, July 22nd as M.E. Tanabe weaves a message of community and wisdom. The songs on “Long Ago” were composed by G.I. Gurdjieff and Thomas De Hartmann, and arranged for two steel-string acoustic guitars by Bert and Fabio.

Fabio is from Italy, and began his study of classical guitar at age 13. In 1998, he attended a Guitar Craft course presented by renowned English guitarist Robert Fripp. Since then, he has continued studying and playing with the Guitar Craft technique.

Bert is originally from Belgium. In 1984, he graduated with honors from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, where he studied classical guitar. Shortly after that, he became involved with Robert Fripp and his Guitar Craft school, which is how he and Fabio eventually met. More information about the guitar duo and a sample of their beautiful music can be found at

Gurdjieff was a philosopher of Russian/Armenian descent who had the remarkable gift of remembering music he had heard during his travels in Asia and the Middle East: Armenian songs, Hindu melodies, Kurdish melodies, an Orthodox Hymn, Sayyid dances, and others. Many years later he sang and played the melodies to Russian composer Thomas De Hartmann; together they created over 300 pieces between 1918 and 1927.

A major part of Gurdjieff’s teachings stemmed from his belief in movement as a form of meditation; as a result, much of his music was originally intended as accompaniment for choreographed, meditative group dances. But these compositions are not “dance music” as we generally think of it— the mood they create is one of quiet, calm, and contemplation. The music may seem simple, with short pieces that lack any pretension to elaborate formal construction, yet it often turns in unexpected directions, revealing itself as powerful, fascinating and deeply affecting. De Hartmann described it thusly: “Listening to this music, one was touched to the depth of his being.”


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