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Kenny Hill : Lost and Found Suite : Doberman – Yppan

Kenny Hill

Doberman – Yppan: 12 pages

Kenny Hill’s pieces that I have seen are always very cleverly written and unlike most other pieces you might come across. This latest 3- movement suite is no exception. All three are set with a dropped D 6th as D major/Minor are the keys used here.

The opening Prelude is marked Pastorale and is a flowing 6/8 piece set in D Major where continuous quavers is the way this piece is written. Not that that is an easy play, far from it, as there are many places where the way it is written catchers the player out momentarily as there is absolutely no places where the quavers pause or stop. Other keys are hinted at through its progression and A Major does make an entrance for a mere 9 bars at one point. There is a gradual increase in volume and excitement towards the end until a mezzo piano coda suddenly takes us into a final bouncing few bars of pairs of notes based around D, and a final lose on three octave Ds

Lost, the second movement is a grief – stricken Dm set in 7/8 and 4/4 for the most part where the notes seem to walk around unsure of where to go, and what to do next. Harmonics are interwoven with the melody a number of times and the words ‘ wandering’, ‘agitated’ and ‘ghostly’ are used in various places here, adequately describing the feeling one gets from this music. A burst into fortissimo full of large chords and a ground bass of open strings takes us into the climax, but then the momentum slackens , the piece slows down and the final section returns to the hopelessness felt at the beginning. Everything ends on a D bare 5th chord.

Found, the final movement by comparison is, as you might expect full of optimism, with everything dashing around full of off – beat rhythms and many chordal ideas, and multiple places for strums of one sort or another. Nothing is at all easy in this movement as time and again you really have to be careful with how you play it, as many effects are used and the particular way the chords want strumming is all set down in detail. The piece ends on a high note, with a run of harmonics, followed by a fortissimo trio of chords over a bottom D, and a final coda of two 4 – note harmonic chords marked pianissimo.

A lovely piece, this will need a very good player to do it full justice, but I can see it being really popular with good players, as the music is always friendly in style, but it is just unlike most things you will have come across before, but then that is the great thing about a good composer, as Hill does not copy (to my knowledge) any one else’s compositional style, but has perfected a unique one of his own.

Chris Dumigan

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