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Conall McKay : Recuerdos Del Nino 1972 : Bergmann

Conall McKay

Bergmann Edition: 9 pages

Having spent some time as a child in Argentina, Conall McKay heard the country’s musical style first hand, and as a result of, at the same time, starting to learn the guitar quickly got to know how their milongas, tangoes, and other native music sounded on the guitar. Years later in remembering these times he wrote this latest piece (one of many he has written) and makes it all sound very effective, but also very natural, as if written by an Argentinean.

It opens with a very ear – catching eight bars that rely heavily on some unusual finger placements on the very highest regions of the fretboard whilst using the open first string in between. After this the proper first theme enters full of Latin rhythms and ear – catching melodies and some nicely off- beat patterns that do give this piece an individual feel whilst in a style that all players will recognize and warm to.

Beginning in Dm it(as often is the case with Latin pieces) turns to the tonic major for the middle section, albeit somewhat slower , and with a number of, again, unusual but lovely touches that make this piece just a little different from the norm. It also does not make it too easy to play, and so moderately good players are needed here to get what is needed out of this piece, for you are constantly on the move up and down the fingerboard, from this position , up to that higher position, and then down again, without any chance to prepare. So, your reactions have to be immediate and very good!

The minor first section returns and leads to the coda where the opening introduction comes back for one more time, and finally moves to a pianissimo close on an altered Dm chord.

I loved this piece. It is very cleverly written, and in a style that you will know and react to, but not in any pastiche sort of way. It sounds perfectly original, and deserves to be played by lots of guitarists.

Chris Dumigan

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