Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Obstructed by Obscurity

I've been looking for a magazine. So far, I've been unable to find it.

I don't want to read it. I just want to verify some information.

The magazine is 20 - 25 years old. Even when it was new, it wasn't in wide circulation.

I want to record with my new guitar. I determined that the first piece I would record would be the second air of Turlough O'Carolan's "Planxty George Brabazon." This is one piece that I happen to play better than anyone else.

The arrangement that I am familiar with is in an alternate tuning; an open G, I believe.

I need to verify that. It makes a lot of difference.

And it's in that magazine.

While searching for the verification of the alternate tuning to the second air of Turlough O'Carolan's "Planxty George Brabazon," I have trouble recalling the tune.

I have a piece by Carlo Calvi running through my head. It won't stop. [Note: The piece linked to here is played a bit fast.]

O'Carolan was a harpist from Ireland in the late 17th century.

Calvi was an Italian guitarist from the early 17th century.

No relation.

Just the tune is somewhat similar.

And so, my quest for a little-used tuning to play an obscure piece by a little-known composer to be found in some old and little-circulated magazine (in excellent condition!) is hampered now by another obscure composer with an even more obscure piece.

Darn the luck!

Maybe I'll just play "Blackbird" (another piece that I play better than anyone else)....

EDIT: Mystery solved! This is actually an open G tuning that's been down-tuned by a major-minor interval: B E B E G# B.
It took a lot to get to that point.
The old down-tuned open G.
I should have known....