Mnemonics for Solo Guitar

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The title refers to the allusions the piece makes to seminal twentieth-century works in the guitar repertoire; the assimilation and development of this borrowed material is one of the principal areas of investigation in the piece. Mnemonics also marks a further development in my work on the use of interval class systems as a device for the generation and development of pitch material. Each movement is based on a single pair of intervals: interval classes 1 and 2 in movement 1; interval classes 2 and 3 in movement 2; interval classes 3 and 4 in movement 3; interval classes 4 and 5 in movement 4; interval classes 5 and 6 in movement 5. This restriction is aimed at maximising the unifying potential of the interval class systems. Similarly, as with a number of my recent works number-generated processes are used to create and develop much of the rhythmic material and extreme virtuosity as a means of generating tension is explored. It is possible to see in the extended techniques of Mnemonics, and in its expansion of the sonic palette of the guitar, the influence of my work with electronics. This is particularly evident in the final movement, which features two-handed tapping techniques, normally encountered in rock guitar styles, and an extended section exploring the percussive timbres of the instrument.
Original languageEnglish
TypeScore and Recording of Original Composition
PublisherContemporary Music Centre
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2005

Bibliographical note

Commissioned by Irish Guitar Festival. Performed by Carlos Bonell (guitar) at Irish Guitar Festival, Foyle Arts Building, Derry, 27 August 2004. Performed by Alan Banks at Shell Darwin International Guitar Festival, Darwin, Australia, 8 July 2005. CD Recording by Alan Banks. Broadcast on ABCFM (Australia’s Premier Radio Station for Classical Music) 11 September 2005. Published by Contemporary Music Centre, Dublin. This five-movement work for solo guitar was commissioned for the world-renowned guitarist Carlos Bonell.


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