Linley Hamilton: For the Record

L Hamilton (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


'For the Record' investigates improvisatory techniques involving the ‘vertical’ implementation of ideas surrounding harmonic anticipation, (B. Stewart, 2016), using the improvisatory language of the upcoming chord to maintain flow and thematically develop harmonic ‘tension and release’, serving as a motivic cellular approach within ‘horizontal’ improvisation.

Context and Methodology
I have researched the vertical implementation of tension devices into horizontally-devised improvisations over pre-composed structures. This involves resolving tension within phrases, using target notes, (Coker, J., Crook, H.) to focus the resolution, (Eitan Y. Wilf (2011)), placed on downbeats, but also on stronger anticipations to downbeats, marking out the conclusion of phrases (as in bars 3, 6 and 8 of ‘Right Angle’). The target-notes define the aural landscape of the melodic interpretation; leaving space before the target-notes defines significant approach areas in which tension devices are deployed.

In my approach, musical intention is expressed through assertive repetition of thematic ideas, harmonically transformed as tension/release devices that are anticipated and delayed, the intent demonstrating governance of phrasing over harmony, grammar over vocabulary, as in ‘Holly’s Moment’ bar 14, Origin bar 20, and 23, 29 of ‘Mo’ Hip’, informed by research on grammatical constructions in jazz narrative (Middleton, 2015; Su Ching Hseih, 2012; Langacker, 2008). This is also informed by broader concepts of generative grammars, musical linearity following functional patterns of narrative, intent through repetition of motivic ideas, integrating these into a ‘narrative of the approach area’.

The process combines rhythmic, harmonic and linguistic-style devices within the approach area, leading to an identifiable improvisatory style featuring personalised motivic tension devices characterised by angularity and conforming to thematic structures (bars 5-29 of ‘Right Angle’).

'For the Record' was recorded during May 2019, featuring Adam Nussbaum (Drums), Mark Egan (Bass), Cian Boylan (Piano), Derek O’Connor (Sax), and released on TeddyD Records, March 20th, 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationIreland
PublisherTeddYD Records
Media of outputCD
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 20 Mar 2020


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