I usually write and play soothing music on the ukulele. But this instrument is also my partner in moments of fury, sadness or turbulence. After a walk on the mountain with a cloudy state of mind, I got back home with a five note motif. That was the starting point for The Cheerless Walk, a piece where I intend to describe moments of trouble, anxiety and sadness. Then, as personal as it is, I chose to put this piece in the hands of a capable musician who could manage the idioms and express the feelings it contains. Being a fan of Giovanni Albini’s work, I had to look no further. I’m glad he accepted my dedication as I’m extraodinarily satisfied with his performance.
Let’s see what he has to say about this piece:
The Cheerless Walk is a wonderful journey on the four strings of the ukulele. It showcases with extreme brilliance and musicality several of the idiomatic and unique features of this instrument. By revealing the distinct technical, timbral and expressive attributes of the ukulele (including some interesting extended techniques), I think it expands the boundaries of the instrument’s concert repertoire.
By composing this piece especially for the ukulele, Choan Gálvez makes the score accessible and effective even to musicians at the intermediate level. The player is able the achieve the effect of sounding like a virtuoso with less effort, with every single note and gesture coming naturally on the ukulele. The score is so exciting that I recorded it the day after I received it. But even up to this day, it still has something new to say every time I play it.
This piece was first presented in December, 2020.
The score, including notation and tablature has been published and made available by The Ukulele Bookshop.