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Hucky Eichelmann : Asean Guitar : Book and CD set: AMI

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

INDONESIAN CHILDREN’S SONG: Burung Kakak Tua: GOESLAW: Menghitung Hari: EICHELMANN: Techno Toey|: POLACHAN: Duan Phen: VAN LAU: Da Co Hoai Lang: TRAD. VIETNAMESE DANCE: Trong Com: CHOUNRAMANY: Charm Par Meuang Leo: TRAD.LAOTIAN DANCE: Lam Salawan: PRINCE of PYINSI: Mya Man Giri : AQUILAR : Anak: MENDOZA de LEON: Kapilas na Giting: TRAD. BRUNEIAN Adai – Adai and Naindong: TRAD. MALAYSIAN: Rojak: HARRISON: Count on Me Singapore: S.A.R.NORODOM SIHANOUK: Brise de Novembre: TRAD. KHMER: Champa Battambang.

AMI PUBLISHING: CD: 53 mins 08 secs : AMI CD 2015 – 02

Book: 52 pages

Hucky Eichelmann

Like his other book/CD sets (available separately if required) this latest combination has 16 very varied pieces beginning with a wonderful swing – inspired Burung Kakak Tua, which is an Indonesian Children’s song full of rasgueados, percussive effects and harmonics but with a lovely jazzy feel to it, not that that makes any of it easy to play, because it certainly doesn’t. Melly Goeslaw’s Menghitung Hari is one of her many songs to her credit, and the melody and harmonies are very easy on the ear , whilst Hucky’s piece Techno Toey, written on Xmas Eve is again driven by a number of effects that really add to the performance of the piece , but take a good technique. It also includes an excerpt from Jingle Bells that is introduced in an unexpected way, followed by the very sentimental melody and harmonies of Duan Phen , written by Asani Polachan, which is slow and melodic and includes an extended section in artificial harmonics, so the player has to be good with those. The next piece has a fascinating history, written in 1917 by Cao Van Lau. Da Co Hoai Lang translates as Night Drum Beats Cause Longing for Absent Husband and was a huge hit across Vietnam in 1927 for the writer. A good tremolo technique is needed for much of this piece too. Trong Com is very traditional in sound with Drum an percussion effects at the opening, leading to a friendly pentatonic melody over a set of largely D Major harmonies below. Charm Par Meuang Lao is a slow bolero and comes from a famous Laotian song, again set in D Major but with a pleasant set of harmonies and although it uses much of the fingerboard, is one of the easier pieces in this book. The other Laotian piece is a traditional Dance called Lam Salawan, and is full of dropped D 6ths and open 5th and 4ths as a drone styled underpinning of a very finger- happy piece that is very melodic and exciting to play. Mya Man Giri has a complex history, which the Preface explains, but as for the piece, it is almost completely without accidentals ( there are a small handful) and yet its modality makes its key structure hard to work out, fascinating though it is to play. Anak by Freddie Aquilar is almost UK folk styled in its accompaniment , is set in Em and has a pleasant sound that is not too difficult to play .Kapilas na Giting has a dropped D 6th , and is full of strongly accented six – string chords providing a great rhythmic basis in the opening section , whilst the 2nd section is more melodic although still having a slightly acidic harmony structure that is gripping and yet still very approachable. Whilst retaining the strongly accented style of the opening idea. Adai – Adai is a pleasant and not too difficult Traditional Bruneian piece and again uses the dropped D 6th string to create a D drone throughout much of this piece, whilst its companion Naindong whilst staying in D moves from Major to Minor often in the way that only folk melodies can. Rojak from Malaysia is a group of 5 famous melodies, very contrasting in style and beautifully arranged for guitar. Count on me Singapore is one of their most famous patriotic songs and is suitably regal in its style. King Norodom Sihanouk‘s Brise de Novembre is warm and full of arpeggiated chords underneath a lovely melody and an almost lullaby feel to it. The final Champa Battambang is a traditional Khmer melody and hauntingly arranged by Graeme Taylor. The piece bounces along using most often chords that jump around the fingerboard, so a good technique is needed!

Again, there is a lovely selection here of material that only players from these countries will recognize, but that should not put anyone off, as long as their technique is very good indeed, because it will need to be of that standard to play the majority of these fine works. Be aware tough that a few pieces from this book and CD set do appear in some other of Hucky’s compilations, and so they are not all completely unique to this volume or recording.

Chris Dumigan

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