• chrisdumigan

Eddie Healy : Ephemera for 3 guitars



Eddie Healy

Les Productions D’Oz: Score and separate parts ( 14, 4,4, and 4 pages respectively)

Here is a trio work of 7 pieces by this American writer/player, where the byword is ‘brief’. Here Healy has written works of very small length where the scores of five of the seven pieces are on one page only, which is a tad unusual to say the least.

The first one called 20 Seconds (theme to the podcast ‘’A Conversation With …’’)is a Vivace of 180 quavers a minute of 19 bars in total , where the time signatures change from the opening bars of 5/16, to 4/8, 6/16, and 3/8 within that 20 seconds timespan. It is quirky, and tricky.

No2 Lethargist, is a plodding 72 crotchets a minute, and its 12 bars of length are weary and over almost before you have had time to register the music.

No3 – 20 More (‘theme for the Arts- Based Learning for Business Video Series’) is fast (it is marked Soaring ) and its 6/8 theme stays in the higher register , whilst the two other parts play some arpeggio based harmonies that are left to ring over , harp – like for much of the time. At the close (Bar 10) a large glissando on the final Am chord brings it to an end.

No4 Reflectivity, at 79 bars and 4 pages of score in length is by far the longest and crosses over consistently between 5/8 and 7/8.The theme changes from one guitar to the other so that everyone gets a chance at the main theme, and its gentle clashes of harmony are still friendly in nature.

No5 is called Noises On, because at only 30+ seconds it is 13 bars of percussive sounds, no actual music is played at all. Sorry, but if I went to a concert and someone ‘played’ that to me, I’d feel bit cheated. I know it’s a joke item, but I don’t think it works either in a private play through with friends or at an actual concert.

No6 Needful Throngs is again, very short, only 15 bars, and, interesting though some of the melodic material is, it is over again before it has begun

The final piece, No7, 60 Seconds is a Vivace, that has a theme that passes backwards and forwards between the three players whilst mixing time signatures of 5/16, 4/8, 6/16,and 3/8, and is quirky and interesting and requires three good players to do it full justice.

In summation I am a little non – plussed because I wonder how the composer sees the score being used? With 6 of the 7 pieces being extremely short, and almost over before they have begun, I cannot see a trio playing these in concert, and yet the composer must have thought that some players would love to see these pieces? As a result I find it hard to give the thumbs up to this book.


Chris Dumigan

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