Guitar Solo
Duration: 9:30

“Needlepoint for solo guitar is a tribute to Hindman’s mother who, weakened by cancer, experiences moments of clarity and productivity between savage chemotherapy rounds. Guitarist Paul Bowman travels effectively from percussive to mellow finger work, matching the musical ranges of this piece. The opening “needlepoint” patterns, possibly the most beautiful moments on the CD, could go on forever with their quiet energy and subtle complexity. However, percussive guitar slaps and string-pulls interrupt these patterns, representing periodic dissonances experiences by the mother. The piece travels graphically between this “needlework” and increasingly varied percussive interruptions as Hindman seems to capture the non-linear, disrupted nature of her mother’s everyday existence. The piece touchingly ends on a low trill, followed by a quietly percussive, low harmonic chord. Is this her end, or will she go on with needlepoint, yet again to be interrupted?”
Carol Ann Weaver, “Compact Disc Reviews: Tapping the Furnace: Music by Dorothy Hindman, lnnova848 (2013),” IAWM Journal Volume 21, No. 1 2015, 44-45

Program Notes:

In the summer of 2004 while I was writing this piece, my mother battled cancer for the third time.  When she was feeling well enough in between rounds of chemotherapy, she worked on a needlepoint sampler for my son; this is the way she chose to spend her good time.  The contrasting imagery and connotations of the word needlepoint: domestic and comforting, and sharply violent and invasive, are reflected in the formal structure of the work.  The transformations to the musical material in Needlepoint are not unlike the transformations in one’s life caused by the protracted illness and death of a loved one: relatively stable periods of normalcy and/or numbness followed by briefer periods of extreme shock and dissonance.  Over the course of the work, the stable material is itself transformed by the repeated interruptions of the dissonant material.  This work was written for my friend, guitarist Paul Bowman, at his request.

March 14, 2005
Paul Bowman
Birmingham Art Music Alliance concert Samford University Wright Recital Hall
Birmingham, AL

Commissioner: Paul Bowman

Tightly Wound: Music for Strings, innova Recordings – 965, Distributed digitally wherever music is available
Tapping the Furnace, innova Recordings – 848 – 2013, Distributed by Naxos USA
Musings, Capstone Records/Parma Recordings, CPS-8787, Distributed digitally wherever music is available

Publisher: Subito Music Distributor