Neal Z. Shipe
My musical interest began in the year 2008, shortly after attending an inspiring performance given by guitarists Sergio and Odair Assad. It was then that I began studying classical guitar under the guidance of Alan Johnston, founder of The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. During my early lessons Alan revealed to me the intimacy and emotional depth the classical guitar had to offer. Captured by the rich musical history, and romantic nature of the guitar, I went on receive a Bachelor of Music degree (Classical Guitar Performance) from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. During my time there I was the recipient of Aaron Shearer Scholarship for Guitar.
In 2016 I began studying the Renaissance Lute. First under the guidance of lutenist Edward Martin, and later under the guidance of lutenist and musicologist Dr. Jeffery Noonan. I approached the lute with a special interest in interpreting the lute manuscripts of 17th century Scotland, and have remained on that trajectory since my beginnings on the instrument. In 2017 I released It Is a Wonder to See, a contemporary recording of 17th century Scottish Lute music in collaboration with guitarist and percussionist Ryan Worthley. The album was highlighted as a long track feature on 89.3 Kansas City University Radio, Night Tides program. In 2018 I began a collaboration with Nilufar Movahadi, host of the Global Roots Radio program, on KKFI 90.1 Kansas City Community Radio. Together we broadcast a four part concert series on the history and evolution of the lute in 17th Century Scotland. Since, I released my first solo album We All Must Rain Now. The work features selections from the Balcarres Lute Book, c1700, arranged for the seldom heard soprano lute. In 2019, I released a Still Raining, a meditative work featuring arrangements of Baroque Scottish Lute music played on the guitar. Both works have since aired on Global Roots Radio, presented by KKFI 90.1, Kansas City Community Radio. In 2020 I released Gypsies Lilt, a response to the unexpected death of a close friend. In the future I plan to continue my work in the preserving ancient Scottish melodies through arranging, recording, and performance of the music. In 2021 I will be performing a program of Scottish Lute music under the umbrella of the Early Music Missouri organization, based in St. Louis, Missouri.