thanks very much for the helpful comments and suggestions! I have all six of the pieces in the suite posted on musecscore.com
, if you're interested in looking at the other pieces. I'd be happy to post pdf copies here too, if there is interest. Recording these pieces is one of my goals, but I have to admit my playing skills are not yet up to snuff on that front (fyi: you can "play" them on musescore.com, to at least get an idea of how a mechanical rendering sounds)
As far as playing open or closed, I have to admit that I've done both, especially wrt the first/last measures. I initially wrote that part playing closed positions but eventually settled on open to let the notes ring longer (as you surmised). To answer the questions about my experience -- this suite is my first venture into composition and I did it more by ear/feel than by formal theory. I have a decent grasp of keys and chords, but no real clue about counterpoint theory, etc. I should say though that I showed my progress to my guitar teacher weekly and assimilated his feedback, which mostly consisted of statements like: "you've got a good start, now you need to develop this more" and sometimes pointed out portions that were likely dead ends. I feel very fortunate to have received his consistent encouragement to keep exploring. It's interesting to me that you mention Andrew York; I hadn't heard anything by him prior to this exercise, but my teacher suggested listening to and learning some pieces by him, suspecting I would enjoy his work, which I was very pleased to discover.
Thanks for the detailed suggestions in your suggested interpretations. As far as a fermata on the final d in measure 2, that sounds intriguing to me, although I have to say that when I play this, I go for a strong rhythm and so those following notes sort of "march" directly into the next measure. And I am thinking about your suggestion to repeat the opening motif at some point during the middle--thanks again for the nice suggestions!