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Annette Kruisbrink : The Gallery Suite for 2 guitars : DOz

Annette Kruisbrink

Les Productions D’Oz: Score only: 12 pages

This latest work by Dutch guitarist Kruisbrink consists of seven short movements, none more than 2 pages in length, which is I assume why separate parts are not provided here. They are all based on a geometric painting and poem by the Dutch visual artist and poet Monica Maat, and are shown on the cover.

As usual with this composer, don’t expect the music to be anything you have heard before, as it most certainly isn’t.

Movement one is called Lines With Irregular Pentagon and is only 10 bars in length, but what bars! After the initial four, where the guitars swap playing natural harmonics whilst the other player plays against the beat in normal notes, (which creates an almost seamless solo line where notes gently clash together on their way around ), comes a mysterious two bar close and a brief pause. After this the procedure repeats, but never quite the same until the closing section from before now has a complex run down the fingerboard on guitar 1 leading to a final bar that mirrors the opening, but just comes to a complete stop on a pause of two solo notes. A mysterious opening!

Jazzy 1 is next and is a mixture of 3 / 4 and 4/4 and littered with accidentals throughout. The rhythms bounce around with both guitars creating several moments where the acidic nature of the harmonies is paramount. Both parts are usually in two voices, with the occasional three note chords too. This intriguing 16 bar piece is fun throughout, and just peters out on an offbeat pair of Bs.

Optical Mathematics with Red and Blue is a two – pager full of repeating semi – quaver patterns, often involving a pull off on the first two notes in the group of four. Other than that the piece is full of repetition with open Bs often occurring in one of the two parts, and sometimes with a clashing repeated low C in the other guitar. Indeed the piece closes with an octave C in guitar one, and an octave B in guitar 2.

Rectangles in Perspective is a 25 bar slow movement where generally one guitar has longer notes and the other one has quite often some complex runs in shorter notes. The only variation from that is the considerable use of an unusual chord of six notes that is often in one part or the other whilst the other player slides up and down around it. That chord also closes the movement.

The 5th movement, Triangle Spread, is one where there are motifs in both parts of a small handful of notes and the players are asked to repeat each motif ad – lib. The only part cast in stone in the final coda where the notes are to be played exactly as written.

Jazzy 2 is the penultimate movement and is a melody full of off – beat rhythms against an accompaniment of solid on the beat chords. Set at 120 beats a minute in A minor, its lots of fun.

The final part is called Geometric Meditative and is a short 9 bar one – pager almost entirely made of both parts in harmonics, but again rhythmically quite diverse and as in the opening movement , constantly crossing over each other, and indeed there is a considerable resemblance to the opening movement all through.

This is always an interesting work, full of diversity and whereas some of it is delightfully bizarre in some of its ideas, it is always fun to play, although you will need to be a quite decent pair of guitarists to cope with a number of its moments!

Chris Dumigan

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