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Hucky Eichelmann : With Love From Asia : Sheet Music and CD set:AMI

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

EICHELMANN: With Love From Asia; Hilltribe Party: LAWALL: The Naiharn Rip – Off (1987 version) : SOTHIPUN: I – Saan: TRAD. BRUNEI: Adai – Adai & Naindong: DE LEON: Kapilas na Giting: JAPANESE TRAD / YOCOH: Sakura: AQUILAR: Anak: BEHREND/ SASAKI: The Japanese Song of Knight Tsusuki: TRAD. TAIWANEE: Ping Jue: HWANG: Four Kayakum Songs: THONGTOUCH: Rak Risya: TRAD.CANTONESE/ ER : Dance of the Golden Snake: TRAD. KOREAN: Arirang: GESANG: Bengawan Solo: CONDIN: Love Song No2: SINGAPORE NATIONAL SONG/ HARRISON: Count on me Singapore.

AMI Publishing: Book: 52 pages

CD: AMI 2000-02: 61 mins. 03 secs.

Hucky Eichelmann

Like many of Hucky’s albums and sheet music books, there is vast amount of variety here. Just a glance at the fact that Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand have their music represented here, is a prime example. The Preface in the book is quite extensive, and even mentions the fact that on the CD , some of the pieces recorded were in older versions than what is now available, and so therefore the book has ‘Ossia’ where this has occurred and the player can decide which version he or she wants to play- a nice touch. Of course with these pieces players have to realize how advanced a great many of them are, for Hucky is a fabulous and this shows in these pieces because even where a piece does have a named composer, Hucky has been involved in arranging many of them. The title track from the book is a set of variations on a beautiful cantabile theme, almost lullaby – like in harmony and style .Along the way you find the theme in tremolo and in harmonics as well as being moved from treble to bass, and all in the very user – friendly key of Em.In contrast the following piece by Georg Lawall, the Nai Harn Rip –Off is fully laden with effects and is a rock- styled solo, which the effects help to impress you of the fact. I-Sarn is immediately oriental in sound and content and a beautiful piece of writing also variation styled. The two traditional Brunei songs Adai – Adai and Naindong form one track on the CD but are both centuries – old melodies with some haunting writing often with drone basswork and sound quite different from anything else in this book. Kapilas na Giting is very strongly characterized, full of action and great fun to get your hands around. Perhaps the most well- known piece here, if like me, nearly everything here is new to you, is the Yuquijiro Yocoh arrangement of Sakura, which has been around for decades now, and appeared on numerous recordings. The music deftly fits the guitar and is a moving and beautiful piece of music that, in spite of its familiarity has a number of quite tricky places to negotiate. Phillipine – born Freddy Aquilar’s Anak is very melodic and not too tricky, as much of it is in an arpeggio – based pattern that reminds one of 1960s UK folk players. Hilltribe Party based by Hucky on a Bolivian theme has a drone bass underneath a very immediate tune, laced with sudden guitar acrobatics that in the end sound harder than they actually are.The Behrend /Sasaki piece is lots of fun and not too difficult, but perhaps the easiest in the book, is the traditional Taiwanese melody Ping Jue, the tune for which is one of those that stays with you, and is in a quite simple, but effective sounding arrangement in C Major. The Kayakum in the title of the Four Kayakum songs is a Korean instrument whose most famous player is Byung Ki Hwang, and four of whose pieces are presented here, Game, Dance, Anticipation and Rain, and are very traditional in style. By contrast the Cantabile Rak Risya , set in E Major is a lovely melody with warm harmonies and is not too difficult technically. Nie Er’s Dance of the Golden Snake with its dropped D 6th is an Allegro Agitato and very fast and furious, but lots of fun. Arirang is totally opposite, with a beautiful melody laced with a couple of sudden cadenza – like passages that really test the player’s speed abilities! Bengawan solo in an Indonesian piece set in tremolo style, whilst Count on me Singapore is a moving March and one of the country’s most beloved melodies, and fits extremely well in D Major, again with a dropped D 6th.The final piece in the book is Love Song No2 , very sad, and haunting and a beautiful closer to the book. (On the CD the last two tracks are reversed, and are the only ones not to follow the book order, I imagine because of the page – turn problem if they were put in the other way in the book!)

This is another fine collection of wonderful pieces, both on the CD and in the sheet music. The greater majority are advanced with a few being a little bit easier , but there are no places here where you feel you have come across the style before, as the music is quite individual , and utterly unlike any other pieces , unless you happen to follow these countries guitar pieces. Well worth the investment!

Chris Dumigan

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