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Shaking the tree : for Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

by Fred Hill (2013)

Shaking the tree


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Shaking the tree : brass quintet / composed by Freddie Hill.

Library shelf no. 785.4516/HIL 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

There are 5 melodic entries labelled A to E over a closely voiced line in the low brass which for me recalls traditional Zulu male voice harmony and which persists as a ground bass except in section D whichacts as a bridge. It may be performed without improvisation in the original brass quintet version. Other versions e.g. for string or concert orchestra may be in preparation.

Work Details

Year: 2013

Instrumentation: 2 trumpets/cornets/flugelhorns in Bb, horn (F or Eb), tenor trombone, bass trombone/tuba, banjo.

Duration: 6 min.

Difficulty: Medium — The main challenge to performers is getting the right rhythmic feel, and also improvisation over a basic 8-bar chord sequence

First performance: by Fred Hill, Brett Willis, Mal Quine, John Blythe, Hugo Pfandler, Nicola Shaw, Mark Faigan — 30 Dec 13. Soldiers' Club, Goulburn, NSW

This piece was composed as spontaneous response to the death of Nelson Mandela, a longtime personal hero to me as to billions of others. I like to think it captures the joyous spirit of Southern African jazz and choral singing, which has enthralled me for many years.

The composer notes for the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
"Township" music of Southern Africa as exemplified by Hugh Masakela, Abdullah Ibrahim and others.

Alternate instrumentation: trumpet/flugel horn, alto sax, soprano saxophone/clarinet in Bb, trombone, tuba/string bass, guitar/banjo, percussion for jazz performance.
Concert pitch lead sheet added as guide for other line-ups.

Performances of this work

30 Dec 13: Soldiers' Club, Goulburn, NSW . Featuring Fred Hill, Brett Willis, Mal Quine, John Blythe, Hugo Pfandler, Nicola Shaw, Mark Faigan.

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