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  • chrisdumigan

GFA Spotlight Series Volumes 1 and 2 :DOz

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Volume 1 : Original Works for guitar by Composers of Color:

CLARICE V.ASSAD : Para Antara: SERGIO ASSAD : South Loop: BOSBA PANH : Dizzy Night : JOAO LUIZ : Tres Improvisos: THOMAS FLIPPIN : American Soul : JEROD IMPICHCHAACHAAHA TATE: Holisso Pisa Chaffa (Etude No1) : ANGEL LAM : Little Snow

Volume 2 : Transcriptions for guitar by Composers of Color

IGNATIUS SANCHO arr ETHAN LODICS: Three Pieces; H.T. BURLEIGH Arr CHRISTOPHER MALLETT: Through the Moanin’ Pines: NATHANIEL DETT Arr.CHRISTOPHER MALLETT: Two Pieces from In The Bottoms: CHIQUINHA GONZAGA Arr. NICHOLAS MARTIN : Faciero Tango : MONTAGUE RING ( AMANDA ALDRIDGE) Arr. Maryam Hajialigol : Prayer Before Battle from Four Moorish Pictures, an Eastern Suite: FLORENCE B. PRICE: Arr. CONNIE SHEU : Remembrance: (solo and duet versions) SAMUEL COLERIDGE – TAYLOR: Arr. CAMERON O’CONNOR: Impromptu No2 from Op78.

Les Productions D’Oz: 50 , and 29 pages respectively

These two hefty tomes are full of new guitar music, the first one original works and the second all arrangements .Generally the original works need advanced players whilst the arrangements are somewhat easier for the most part, and so I would rate them moderate to advanced. Also any interested purchasers will find nearly all the pieces recorded by the dedicatees of the pieces on YouTube. In Volume 1 has pieces by Brazilians Clarice Assad and Sergio Assad, the first Para Antara ( the dedicatee Antara Dasgupta) in two movements , a slow and mournfully harmonised Preludio followed by a very complex Perpetual Motion in almost constant semi – quavers and a good deal trickier to play, and the second a six page work with a hugely complex two voiced structure where off – beat rhythms are in constant motion Cambodian – born Bosba Panh’s Dizzy Night is perhaps the easiest of the pieces in Volume 1 , and has a slow opening often with just a solo line, and sparse harmonies, and a second section only slightly faster with a rocking bass line topped by a harmonious melody line. Brazilian Joao Luiz’s Tres Improvisos are much more modern in style and the accidentals are constantly in use, thus producing very tricky work both rhythmically and harmonically .At 13 pages in total it is also the largest work here. American – born Thomas Flippin’s American Soul has many elements of the banjo style in its writing and yet remains often a little unusual in its harmony work, thus keeping the player on their toes the whole time. The work by the wonderfully named Jerod Impichchaachaaha Tate is nine pages of one of the most difficult pieces I have ever come across. It is sub- titled a Study and as such it has many moments when it will stop players in their tracks until they have an extended try at it. The final Little Snow by Hong Kong – born Angel Lam has a very contemplative opening full of note bends, and other technical moments that are quite tricky to bring off successfully, before speeding up slightly, although the speed in this piece does change 5 more times leading to a tremolo section that is the majority of the main section, finally closing on a slower idea reminiscent of the opening and full of some of the same technical difficulties.

Volume 2, the arrangements begins with three pieces, Gavotta, Marianne’s Reel, and Richmond Hill by 18th century Ignatius Sancho born in the middle of the Atlantic on a slave ship before landing into what is now South America. His pieces, seemingly written for the Harpsichord are tuneful, elegant and not tricky to play. And if they sound very English then that is probably because he spent a great deal of his life in the UK. Henry Thacker Burleigh, born in Pennsylvania in 1866 was the man who caught Dvorak’s ears and encouraged him to use the folk songs for his music, especially the New World Symphony! His Through the Moanin’ Pines, No1 of From The Southland , 6 sketches for piano published in 1910 is melodic and harmonious with plenty of barres to keep the players occupied , but a lovely piece that works very well on the guitar. Nathaniel Dett was a Canadian –American Black composer whose In The Bottoms, a five – movement suite for piano has had its 2nd and 3rd movements arranged here for guitar. Honey Humoresque, the 3rd movement originally is light, fun, and not too tricky, whilst His Song, the original 2nd movement is mostly full of long chords interspersed with solo lines. Both these pieces are melodic and fun to play. Chiquinha Gonzaga, a Brazilian female composer born in 1847 who devoted her whole life to music. Her Faceiro, a Tango has a dropped D 6th, and has all the elements you might expect from a Tango and is only moderately difficult, working extremely well on the guitar considering it was a piano piece firstly. London – born Amanda Aldridge published a large amount of music under the pseudonym Montague Ring. The first movement from her piano suite from 1927 entitled Four Moorish Pictures , called Prayer Before Battle has been arranged here with a dropped G 5th and a dropped D 6th , and moves surprisingly through 6 keys on the space of 81 bars , and sounds very original musically speaking and yet works well on the guitar. Florence B. Price is a name that is getting more known in the classical world, having had several recordings produced and many performances live and on the radio. Here her piano solo Remembrance with a dropped D 6th is emotive and full of beautiful harmonies and melodies and is one of the highlights in this book. It is also included in a duet version that just opens up the harmonies a little more and works that little bit better as a result. Finally the most famous composer here, Samuel Coleridge – Taylor’s Impromptu No2 from his 1911 set Op78, of three , originally for organ, is full of the Mahlerian harmonies that he was often known for ( he was occasionally referred to as The Black Mahler, and one can see why when performing this piece. This is the hardest of the pieces in this book, but is still attainable by a moderately advanced player, and is well worth the effort.

So in summation both these books are crossing many borders that haven’t been tried before, and they are mostly fascinating and well worth your attention , as long as you realise that Book 1 is definitely several grades higher than Book 2 and the music in book 1 is much more modern in approach .Essential playing !

Chris Dumigan

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