If you frequent upscale coffeehouses or shopping malls or listen to a lot of public radio, its possible that you have heard the music of Darren Curtis Skanson -- Friday, September 22, through Sunday, September 24, at FlatIron Crossing -- without even realizing it. The classical guitarist, who formerly served as one-half of the local instrumental duo Watson and Company before striking out on a solo career, plays a soft, lilting form of modern classical music that is designed to be as soothing as it is engaging. Skanson, who sometimes augments his arrangements with a string section, displays strands of traditionalism while avoiding the austere presentation that sometimes frightens away the uninitiated. His new disc, Classica, is a good example of his modernist approach: It includes works by composers Brahms and Beethoven, as well as his own compositions. In the end, what he plays is simply beautiful acoustic music, the kind braved only by the rarely talented.
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