This piece for guitar solo comes in three movements: Fluent Guitar; Blues Boogie; and Elegy.
Programme note © F L Dunkin Wedd:
Fluent Guitar - Blues Boogie - Elegy
(Gallimaufry = any inconsistent or absurd medley; a miscellaneous gathering.)
You might think it helpful if you play the instruments you write for - in my case principally guitar and viola. But it’s a two-edged sword. Perhaps one knows too much: there is a temptation to write what is safe, what works on the instrument - to write viola music instead of writing music.
That’s especially true of instruments like guitar and harp, which have special qualities and limitations; the foremost composers for them have generally been players, and there is less great music for them - qua music - than for, say, the violin.
So in writing Gallimaufry - my first major piece for guitar - I was at pains to balance music that is idiomatic with music that is generally satisfying. Although I’ve used idiomatic details like harmonics, rasqueado and snapstring, I have tried to write music that would still sound well if transcribed for, say, piano.
The three movements reflect my aim to show several faces of the instrument. The first starts out with Bachian arpeggios which turn to triplets; there is then a reflective slow section, before the Bachian figure returns, now with added bassline.
The second movement is jazzy; Elegy, though contrapuntal, is very short and lyrical: it ends the piece in bitter-sweet mood.