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Eddie Healy : The Path to Truth for 3 guitars



Eddie Healy

Les Productions D’Oz : Score and separate parts ( 22, 9, 7, and 9 pages respectively)


The 3 – movement piece by this American Writer/Performer is a journey from pessimism to optimism. The opening movement Stagnation sets the scene by having some complex rhythms over all three players, and indeed ones that change quite often with the result that the music itself is quite complex to assimilate for a while. The music itself is tonal with the occasional clash to create certain effects in some moments. It begins at a fast speed of 190 quavers a minute as a 4/4 with occasional moves into 7/8 that create a staggering effect when they enter. Guitar 3 is often acting as the accompanist here, while Nos 1 and 2 are consistently passing ideas back and forth. A stuttering and very unhappy coda brings this opening movement to a close on a discord.

Irrevocably Becoming races in as a 3/8 piece with semi – quaver runs before a lolloping accompaniment on guitar 3 , heralds in some harmonics on guitar 2 , and then finally a melody set in third and sixths, but in an offbeat rhythm and using unexpected harmonies in the odd place to create tension. Several new ideas enter along the way but everything stays at the same galloping speed that necessitates good players throughout until a ritardando leads into a completely new speed and rhythm with a 4/4 section that takes us into the coda and another gentle but slightly off – kilter chord to close.

The final Direction is set at 90 crotchets a minute and is largely in semi-quavers for guitars 1 and 2 resulting in a frenetic dash through the entire movement. The time signatures are again changing from the opening 4/4 to 7/8, 5/8 , 3/8 and 3 / 4 at times, with quite a few moments when there is such a lot going on at any one time that the music is very complex rhythmically as a result. This final movement is more extended and leads surprisingly into a coda where the last 4/4 bar has a repeat and fade instruction so that the journey the players are on , never stops, but carries on ad infinitum.

This is an interesting piece that has a harmonic language that is modern but accessible, and that requires decent players to make it work, but at 12 minutes for the whole piece, it is a substantial work that trios might very well enjoy getting their hands onto.


Chris Dumigan

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