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Patrick Byers (Cante Luta): Books and CDs

Seana Marena: Journey Through Africa

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Product Description
South Africa 1986. War escalates between the ANC and the government controlled Afrikaner National Party. The West implemented economic sanctions, and the resulting cultural isolation bred a no man's land. In this desert a music was born that promised a redemption. This is a story of heroes on both sides of a conflict who transfered power without bloodshed, a journey through Africa and a music, Seana Marena.

About the Author
Patrick Byers is a former resident composer and performing arts teacher for the world renowned "Fame" school, Laguardia Arts High School in New York City. His journey through Africa and the search for the African Mozart inspired adventures in Vietnam and Native American reservations. As president of Composers Group International New York, his journeys continue, as does the search for native sublime geniuses whose music inspires peace.


Four Hand Reflections

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Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the American piano duo Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem, this disc represents a selection of some of their personal favorite original and transcribed works for piano, four hands. Features the world-premiere recording of the Great Movements Sonata for Four Hands; a welcome virtuoso addition to the neglected contemporary repertoire for piano duet by New York composer Patrick Byers, along with original-composer transcriptions of works by Mozart, Ravel, Liszt and Respighi. The Byers work is in four movements: Schubert Variations, (Brahms) Scherzo for the Hearty, Air from a Balcony, and Gift for the Great.


Lynn Peters CD 2003: A Bass Odyssey

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I. Moby Dick Sonata
II. Music History Quartet
III. Sonata in G minor, Opus 5, No. 2


Liner Notes:

 

T

he following passage from Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" aptly describes the feelings that your "Moby Dick" sonata evoked within me:


"There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath; like those fabled undulations of the Ephesian sod over the buried Evangelist St. John. And meet it is, that over these sea-pastures, wide-rolling watery prairies and Potter's Fields of all four continents, the waves should rise and fall, and ebb and flow unceasingly; for here, millions of mixed shades and shadows, drowned dreams, somnambulism's, reveries; all that we call lives and souls, lie dreaming, dreaming, still; tossing like slumberous in their beds; the ever-rolling waves but made so by their restlessness."


I was absolutely intrigued and mesmerized by this composition. The fourth movement especially was innovative and captivating. The string effects to simulate and mimic the hauntingly beautiful sounds of whales which they produce inside their blow-holes was fascinating and apropos to this composition, and not a prop or gimmick.


You have captured Bartok's ability to exploit the piano and the Double Bass as percussion instruments, using their resonances as well as the xylophonic hardness of the piano in its accompanying role to produce exciting new sonorities and driving rhythms, uniquely evident in both compositions. I also noticed that you are maintaining formal schemes along with intensively worked counterpoint, all of this while still maintaining a creative and refreshing diatonic harmony. Lynn Peters' performance is outstanding and convincing.


I adore the "Music History Quartet". It reminds me of the refreshing melodic and harmonic concepts that you would sketch out and bring to class during your embryonic stage as a composer. There is a deceptive sweetness and gentleness that overshadows the creative manipulation of tonal textures that you construct in this composition. There is just a hint of Gabriel Fauré influence in this piece. This is most notable in "The Essence of Culture: Adagio" movement of this beautiful quartet. Patrick, I feel that this composition is reflective of your essence as a composer and as a being.


Bartok, Stravinsky, and Coplands's collective creative genius are obvious influences. However, this does not in any way diminish your individuality and identity as a composer, only embellishes it. All composers embrace the ideas, techniques, and schemes of the great masters. We all glean on the fertile creative fields of the true geniuses and few can honestly claim the crown of absolute originality, not even Stravinsky, Copland, or Bartok.


Marcia has also listened to the two compositions and was equally impressed and sends her congratulations and best wishes. She loved them both. If you would, share with us your personal impressions and thoughts concerning the source of inspiration and any interesting experiences that you had during and after the completions of these two magnificent pieces. It is a shame that your music is not being heard by a larger audience and being given the recognition that it rightly deserves. -2009, Larry B. Binns


An American Composer

 

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Coming Soon!

 I. Composers Sonata

II. Music History Quartet

III. Gospel Quartet