• chrisdumigan

Two works by Kenny Hill

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

Two works by Kenny Hill

1) There and Gone: 6 pages

2) Stolen Moments: 8 pages

Hill Guitar Company Inc.

Reviewed 17th July 2019

Best known as a player, and instrument maker, Hill wrote for the guitar in the 70s only to stop. It was only when in 2010 the writing bug hit him again that he recommenced.

There and Gone immediately hits you with its desolation. There is the unusual use of what I would call a delayed pull off technique all over the piece, wherein you play a note, then another, only to pull of the first one to an open string, a technique that I have seen folk players do, but hardly ever classical writers. It gives the music a strange harmonic quality that is most attractive, once you can actually get the technique to work! A gradual increase in volume and movement results in a block chord over a clashing bass note passage that subsequently moves back to the quieter arpeggiated section. A return to the opening desolation provides an atmospheric close. A lovely piece!

Stolen Moments has the disadvantage of needing a partial capo that only covers five strings at fret four, followed by low C sixth string. It is therefore written in C, but sounding in E. It has an unusual grouping of sixteen sixteenth notes in a five - five -six figuration for much of the work, giving the work an odd resonance. The use of open strings intermingled with fretted notes at higher positions gives the work an attractive yet unusual sound.

Both works are relatively advanced and are however well worth the effort, but you will need that capo for the second piece!

Chris Dumigan

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