Raritan River Music (RRM) was founded in 1989 to serve our rural community in western New Jersey with chamber music concerts in historic venues and outreach programs in health care facilities and schools. In 1999 RRM established the New Music Commissioning Program. We, along with many others throughout history, believe that the creation of new music is the essential reason to perform and present music. Without new compositions, performance loses vitality and, more important, relevance. Patronage is necessary to allow artists the freedom to express their most truthful, daring visions, which may not be popular or familiar to their audience. Posterity will judge the results. This CD, our 12th recording project over the past thirty-five years, represents fifteen years of planning, rehearsing and performing this new music around the world, plus dozens of grant application submissions, meetings with composers and foundation directors, trips to work with composers in California, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and more. Five of the six selections on this CD were premiered at the annual Raritan River Music Festival in New Jersey, and four were commissioned by RRM for The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo. (The Sierra piece was composed for the Gray and Pearl Duo; we performed the New York premiere. Vamos and Avers wrote their collaboratively-composed music while still college students.) The compositions presented here represent a wide variety of individual perspectives and compositional styles. Some of the composers are well established and widely known and others are just beginning their careers. We encourage you to visit their websites to learn more about their myriad accomplishments and performances of their works. All the composers commissioned through RRM speak with the audiences at the premiere performances, and most spend days with us at area schools. The composers help de-mystify their work by sharing in discussions and demonstrations during outreach programs that foster within the community a sense of appreciation and participation in the music's creation. Since the premieres, the pieces have been published and performed around the world. Our heartfelt thanks go to all the foundations and individuals who supported these commissions and the recording project, as well as to the RRM Board of Trustees for their commitment and undying enthusiasm for the vital work of the organization. We hope that you enjoy the amazing diversity of the music on this recording. It has been a remarkable journey to bring it to you.