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Thomas Flippin  : Into the Light : GFA Spotlight Series :  DOZ

Thomas Flippin

Les Productions D’Oz: 6 pages


This is another in the ongoing series commissioned by the Guitar Foundation of America in their Spotlight Series.

Dedicated to Micah Montgomery, it takes its inspiration from the Old Testament’s Book of Micah and is quite a short piece lasting roughly 3 minutes in total. The style is immediately very modern and therefore anyone not particularly in line with this sort of harmonic writing will probably struggle somewhat.

The opening is full of fermatas, and harmonics and no definite rhythm to it. As stated before the harmonies are very modern, bordering on dissonant .After the first 10 bars an Adagio comes into play with complex triplets and unexpected chords in what is essentially a 2, or 3 voiced setting. Then a large run of semiquaver sextuplets full of accidentals and clashing harmonies  takes us to a small section of large spread chords and then to a freely timed repetitive six note arpeggio that runs up and down numerous times,  leading to a slightly faster Larghetto in 2/4 and 3 /4 written in two voices. A climactic rise up the fingerboard in three and four note chords takes us back to the original speed of Adagio but now with a completely different idea in a mixture of time signatures including 5/8 and 4/8 written almost entirely in triplet semi – quavers underpinned by some occasional 6 string chords. This then winds down in speed, until a molto rit. leads us back to the Larghetto for a further two bars, and then to a final Adagio taking us to the final coda consisting of a five note chord in harmonics.

This piece is extremely difficult to play, and is, as I said before, very modern in style, which does divide opinion with many players, but if you like this sort of guitar writing and have the necessary technique to take it on, then by all means give it a look – see.


Chris Dumigan  






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