Tony Mizen is a well known name in the ukulele world. He’s the author, among other niceties, of The Baroque Ukulele, and From Lute to Uke, two seminal books in the small niche of the classical ukulele.
In 2021 he self-published a collection of seven new original pieces for re-entrant ukulele depicting spiders, wasps, scorpions, ants, fleas, butterflies, and ladybirds.
The pieces are brilliant in every way. The compositions are sophisticated, the performances are first rate and I can think of nothing else quite like them in the current ukulele repertoire. Like a great impressionist, Tony paints with sound to bring each creature delightfully and musically to life. Bravo!
Today I’m happy to announce a re-edition of Arthropoda, in digital form, by The Ukulele Bookshop. The scores have been revised, the layout has been reworked, and the new edition looks better and crisper. Also, this new release includes a set of mp3 files where Mr Mizen himself performs all seven pieces.
Other great ukulele players have performed selections from Arthropoda. Meet Giovani Albini’s rendition of Wasps, the closing piece in the book.
Scores inspired by the animal kingdom have a long standing tradition filled with beautiful and diverse evocative pieces: some musical instruments have even their own ambassador in the bestiary of program music repertoire, such as the swan for the cello (Saint-Saëns) or the hummingbird for the guitar (Sagreras). In this context Tony Mizen makes an exquisite contribution with a little concert suite for solo ukulele that depicts a microcosm of creepy invertebrates. The result is a very successful micro-universe of sound images that runs - crawls and flies - pleasantly under your fingers and on the four strings, alternating colours and characters, and showing the ukulele’s amazing expressive potential. A must-have in the collection of every performer!
And, for some more comfortable music, here’s Mizen’s rendition of Ladybirds.
I’m honored that such a talented and revered author trusted in the services of The Ukulele Bookshop for this re-edition.