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Black Mountain

Digital Sheet Music [PDF]: Score

Black Mountain : complete scores with guitar tablature [eScore] / Toby Wren.

by Toby Wren (2016)


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Black Mountain was written during 2016 and developed through rehearsal with my trio, including Andrew Shaw on double bass and Chris Vale on drums. The compositions reflect a dark period in my life. This was the time, I thought, when I would execute the plan I had had for many years to release an album that was thoroughly uncompromising, avant-garde and dark - it had been Black Mountain since I had conceived it, eleven years ago, standing on the coldest night of the year at 4am on the disused rail line in the tiny town of Black Mountain outside Armidale, NSW. It was a period of deep uncertainty in my practice, a moment when rational thought could have turned me from music altogether. Yet, I wrote. And I was surprised that the music was not as dark and dissonant as I had intended, or perhaps, I was not as dark and desperate as I imagined. Not desperate enough perhaps to put down my pen or plectrum.

These compositions reflect a syncretism of the major influences on my musical life. In these pages I see and hear Bach, Mahler, Messiaen, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Ben Monder, James Muller, and the important formative influence of Carnatic music. Occasionally these influences are explicit, as when a Carnatic korvai in a composition is notated numerically. These additions are meant as an aid to understanding, as is the inclusion of guitar tablature, useful here, because in many cases the fingerings are important to the sound of a particular piece.

This set of notations (minus the tablature) is what we have used in rehearsal and performance, so by using it in tandem with the record you will have a clear idea not only of the compositions, but their interpretations by the group. Black Mountain is a very guitar- centric record. You will find that, with the exception of improvisations and a few places where chords are given in the style of a lead sheet, all of the guitar playing on the album is precisely notated. The writing for the double bass is less prescriptive, and the drums, still less. The scores in this sense are not dissimilar to a real book chart an approach that seeks to involve the musicians as much as possible in the creation of the work. I hope you enjoy playing these compositions and find them as challenging and rewarding as I do.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 digital (PDF) facsimile score (45p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — High level of instrumental difficulty for all instruments. Additive (Carnatic) and polyrhythmic difficulty for rhythmic coordination.

Duration: 45 min.

Contents note:

An Epic Rock -- An Unbearable Weight (by Toby Wren and Charlotte McLean) -- Bedroom for Improvement -- Black Mountain Resolve -- Black Mountain -- Blinded -- Guitangam (by Toby Wren and Guru Karaikkudi Mani) -- The Lighthouse -- Sentimental Old Thing --Sevens -- Sirens -- Sixes.

First performance by Toby Wren Trio — 2016. Queensland Conservatorium Theatre

Includes programme notes.

Contribute submitted styles, genres, influences, etc:

Contemporary jazz with Carnatic influence.

Typeset edition.

This edition produced 2017.

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