Three Views of a Friendship for two guitars by Joel Harrison
Three Views of a Friendship for two guitars by Joel Harrison

Three Views of a Friendship for two guitars by Joel Harrison

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Three Views of a Friendship for two guitars by Joel Harrison

This piece was inspired by my cousin Rob Stein. I’ve attempted to reflect his wit, compassion, joy, and intelligence, as well as his passing in three distinct movements.

Movement one begins with a simple, lamenting melody that grows into an energetic dance. A middle section in seven beats is meant to evoke the sense of time flying by. There follows a building of tension in a groove-based section with plenty of interplay that after a climax falls into a restatement of the opening theme. Throughout there is the tick tock of a steady 8th note, mostly on the offbeat. Sometimes this pulse presents as a Latin clave.

Movement two has a driving triplet pulse and powerful E major tonality that takes on harmonic tension and a darker hue as the piece grows. There’s vigorous interplay and forward motion that barely pauses before a finale that’s meant to leave us with a sense of joy and celebration. I sense the inspiration of the Lennox Berkeley Sonatina in this movement.

Movement three is an elegy. It’s a melody I might write for a jazz quartet, tuneful and with bittersweet harmony. It’s a simple story of loss of a loved one directed at the heart.



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