Wednesday 6 June 2012

Extract from 'The Pheonix Guitar Concerto'

Coming soon on Clay Pipe is  'Embarkation' by GP Hall. 

GP Hall is an English guitarist, composer and improviser fusing and mixing both traditional and avant-garde styles. Raised in the East End of London, Hall was schooled in classical, flamenco and jazz playing and developed his skills as a guitarist in the British blues boom of the late 1960s.
Hall went on to play at celebrated London venues including The Roundhouse, the Middle Earth club and the 100 Club (where he was a resident player). He supported the likes of Deep Purple, The Hollies, and Chris Farlowe and played on stage with original American blues heroes John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson.
Hall's musical approaches began to broaden in the early 1970s. He spent some time living with Romani musicians (studying with renowned flamenco guitarist Manitas de Plata) and subsequently became involved in more avant-garde work.
In 1972, Hall was commissioned by the South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell to write The Estates - a "large and complex" musical piece intended to depict the breakdown of established communities to make way for the New Town of Bracknell. The piece was scored for a large ensemble centred around guitar, bass, clarinet, glockenspiel, hammer dulcimer, assorted percussions and two specially prepared piano frames. The Estates was recorded and released on album by Prototype Records in 1972.
From the mid 70s through to the early 80s Hall's career was dogged by personal trauma, He suffered from depression and became homeless and destitute on several occasions. Since recovering he has made over ten albums including the 1995 album Imaginary Seasons.


I was always intrigued and fascinated by journeys, be they physical or metaphysical.
A crowded airport, train station, or docks, make for imaginary travel. Where are people going? Where are they from?

The journey of life has trillions of embarkation points but only one arrival and where that is only time will tell. Where will the future embarkation platforms be - maybe on other worlds?

When composing this music it was as detailed. Do I add or take away notes? Is the space between the notes long or short? Is the tone hard or soft? Is it the silence that has more impact? Was I inspired by the ocean, the mountains, love, or a sunset behind an abandoned industrial site? Well, everything.
- GP Hall 2012