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Evan Hirschelman : Parichay : GFA Spotlight Series : DOz

Evan Hirschelman

Les Productions D’Oz: 7 pages

I must confess to never having come across Evan Hirschelman before, but on the basis of this latest piece dedicated to one Preston Hong, I feel I ought to have. This piece immediately comes out from the page and hits you. It is so different from anything I have ever seen or heard before that it literally is in a class of its own. Any interested performers should firstly take a look and a listen to the dedicatee’s performance on YouTube, a stunning piece of playing if ever I heard it! So you might say, ‘yes but what, if anything is the downside to it?’

Firstly it has a 2nd string to Bb as well as the 6th to D, but then the technique necessary to play it has to be outstandingly good. The piece begins with some unusual harmonics complete with glissandi, and vibrato. Then there is a momentary solo line, before more harmonics, and then two bars completely of left hand glissandi, ending with a note bend. This complex opening continues in this vein for a number of bars, with multiple time signatures and complex rhythmic details including sextuplets and septuplets. A Piu Allegro section begins at bar 37, again involving 5/4, 15/16, 4/4, 3 /4, 2/4, 7/8, and 3/8 in various combinations, and this time with rasgueado chords, instructions on how to produce a buzzing sound on the strings, and many other things besides.

The piece continues in this very unexpected way for 110 bars, and never letting up for a second from its almost constant almost other – worldly soundscape. To be fair the performance by Hong is spectacular, and anyone who likes this uniquely styled music will get a lot from it, providing your technique is up to the challenge. I personally didn’t get much from the actual music itself as it seemed to spend almost its entire time being very unusual without actually having real themes to get to know, but you might think entirely differently, and if so, take a look and a listen to the magnificent YouTube performance!

Chris Dumigan

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