Frank McCarty—Compositions

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Paraphrase Duos for Two Guitars (1986) [14:59]
Poly-ethnic style

Two Guitars

Publisher:
Soundlib Press

Recording:
McCarty: Guitars

This trans-ethnic composition, based upon European, Asian, and American sources, expresses both the universality and versatility of the guitar.

Program Note:
Notes from Duos album
Paraphrase Duos for two guitars (1986) [15:14] was commissioned by the husband and wife duo, Neil and Tami Caulkins. This poly-ethnic composition, based upon European, Asian, and American sources, expresses both the universality and versatility of the guitar. After all, the guitar, in one form or another, is the most popular and widely used instrument in the world. Its distinctive plucked-string sound is commonly heard in ethnic, popular and classical musics. Professional schools of virtuoso performance are found in many eastern and western cultures. Thanks to its portability and initial simplicity, the guitar is as well, the most common instrument played by ordinary people. Without it, such American styles as blues, folk, and rock as we know them today could not exist.

After Rameau [4:20] takes a minuet of the French Baroque and treats it almost as if it were a piece of clay or dough. The original material is playfully segmented, compressed, stretched and overlapped. A wide range of registers and tempi are employed while exploiting such musical devices as hocket and imitation.

Nara Image [6:23] was conceived as a musical silk painting. Its influence came from a trip by my mother and me to that region, well known for its forested mountains and ancient temples. The piece includes portions of two Japanese folk songs: "Oedo Nihon Bashi" and "Kuroda Bushi." This duo also evokes a wide variety of sounds and textures associated with Japanese music and demonstrates both the imitative and evocative
qualities of the guitar.

Mississippi [4:16] is a composition that grew from a single measure of "Mississippi" John Hurt's ragtime-blues style of playing. His legendary and highly innovative technique was a significant element in the development of the American popular guitar style. A dance-like nature of repeating musical sections is employed as the tempo increases from unit to unit. The overall form of the piece is based on the letter-form of its title.

Notes from Guitars album
This trans-ethnic composition, based upon European, Asian, and American sources, expresses both the universality and versatility of the guitar. The first duo, "after Rameau," treats a minuet of the French Baroque almost as if it were a piece of clay or dough: the original material is segmented, compressed, stretched and overlapped. The second, "Nara image," conceived as a musical silk-painting, includes portions of two Japanese folk songs: 'Oedo Nihon Bashi' and 'Kuroda Bushi.' It employs a wide variety of sounds and textures and demonstrates both the imitative and evocative abilities of the instrument. The entire third duo grew from a single measure of "Mississippi" John Hurt's ragtime-blues style of playing. His legendary innovative technique became a significant element of what could now be characterized as the American popular guitar style. These pieces were commissioned and first performed by the husband and wife guitar duo, Neil and Tamara Caulkins.