The Music of Nicky Hind
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José Luís Bieito

Hindsight - front cover
Nicky Hind
1.   Ripples
2.   Reflections
3.   Crossings
George Winston
4.   Carol of the Bells
5.   Night Sky
Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint:
6.   I / Fast
7.   II / Slow
8.   III / Fast
Label: Ars Harmonica
Production: José Luís Bieito, Pere Serrano
Recording engineer: Pere Serrano
Graphics: Albert Lleo i Alba
Video: Yago Marino
Photography: Salva Lopez
José Luís Bieito plays Ibanez, Fender stratocaster, Fender jazzmaster, Fender jazz bass, Yamaha APX700 acoustic, and René Baarslag classical guitars


This collection of music for guitar, brought together by José Luís Bieito as the musical element of his music+image binomis, Reflections, possesses a delightful balance of sounds. These are flowing, pulsing, mostly gentle sounds that tend to soothe and calm the listener's mind. Sounds that – through a variety of compositional techniques – tend to be sustained in time; the effects of which can sometimes capture a listener’s attention, holding it inside an extended musical moment, like a spell. When heard while viewing the accompanying (provocative, sometimes disturbing) images, the sounds can serve an additional function: grounding the listener's reaction, enabling the passage of emotion; like electricity discharging through a lightening rod.
He has a gift, does José Luís Bieito, for finding and expressing the essence of the music he touches. The guitarist connects with the inner spirit of each composition, and from that place expresses every ounce of musical content. Such has been my experience in working with him on the three pieces of mine for guitar+electronics presented here. And a great pleasure to hear them performed by a musician of his caliber. Mr Bieito’s unique interpretation of Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint recalls the work’s original interpretation on electric guitars by Pat Metheny. But his combination of electric and acoustic guitars adds new timbral dimension, and helps the listener differentiate the intricately woven polyphony. Similarly, his arrangement of George Winston's Carol of the Bells recalls not only Winston's piano version of the work, but also seems to hint at the ancient pagan chant upon which the original Leontovych composition was based.
In isolation from the accompanying images, the music flows through contrasting moods and intensities. The variety of compositional techniques used by the featured composers – three different solution sets to the fundamental question of how to sustain a musical atmosphere – adds another pleasing contrast. This balance of contrasting sounds forms such a complete and seemingly perfect whole that suggests the spell might be sustained indefinitely; simply loop the CD back to the beginning and continue listening…
Nicky Hind
February 2009
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