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Annette Kruisbrink : The Bat Cave: DOz;

Annette Kruisbrink

Les Productions D’Oz: 6 pages

Dutch composer/guitarist Annette Kruisbrink has always been a player whose music stretched boundaries, and this latest piece (which I am certain has NOTHING to do with Batman!), certainly does that. For example on the last page there is a very detailed instruction involving diagrams explaining that for approximately one minute you take a ball attached to a stick and then bounce the ball in various places on the guitar which , by now you are holding vertically.

The piece begins as a Lentissimo Rubato and with a ‘cautious and mysterious’ marking underneath the first five notes, which are then played as a slow arpeggio. After a harmonic, this chord is played again, and followed by a pizzicato run of small notes which then continue with harmonic doubles mixed with some unusual chords.Then the first of three places occurs where the stave in essence disappears and replaced by the instruction to play whatever notes you want, but each of the three times having different instructions as to precisely how you go about playing them. Gradually things then speed up and over the page a speed of about 108 beats a minute takes you into a repeated E (open first) surrounded by notes and chords above and below before the piece dives away into some very sharply harmonised chords interspersed with some very swiftly moving arpeggios that quickly turn into runs of quintuplet semi – quavers. This continues for a short while before the final page where it suddenly turns back into a slow Adagio, and after a long – held chord and two pairs of harmonic notes, the final section with the ball on the string takes over (as I mentioned up above) and one is instructed to play this gradually ritarding into silence.

This is a piece full of character, very unusual, and as you can tell littered with strange sounds, no doubt imitating the strange sounds one might hear in a cave full of bats, and as such it is successful, but one does have to be a very good player to bring this piece off successfully!

Chris Dumigan

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