A half-hitch on heaven
souvenirs from southern Alberta; suite for Bb clarinet, horn in F, and piano

Kenneth Nichols
Composition Date: 2004
Genre: Mixed Chamber Ensembles (1 to 9 Performers), Trios, Woodwind(s) / Brass, Keyboard(s)

Instrumentation:

Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Horn
  • 1 x Piano
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Programme Note:
A "half-hitch on heaven" was written for my long time friend, Jane Blackstone, for a concert she presented at the Heligonian club in 2006.I met Jane at the Banff School of Fine Arts' summer school in 1960, where we were both studied piano with Boris Roubakine.We spent a wonderful summer studying and hiking, along with two other good friends, Ann Southam and Diana McIntosh.Alberta's liguor laws being what they were in those days, I came in useful as the obligatory male when entering the ' Ladies and Escorts" part of the hotel lounge.
Jane visited the old IV ranch ,located on the south boundary of the Peigan Reserve on Spring Ridge, around 2003.The ranch house was built as a cow camp for the Maunsell brothers in the 1880's,who ran a big herd of catle on the Piegan Reserve. The ranch was later bought by my grandfather, Frank McLaughlin, who was the foreman there.The fifth generation of the family lives on the place now.
The title piece reflects a perfect day in late December,when there was no wind and the land was at rest, with the mountains ringing the plains to the west."Wind farm" is a musical portrait of the majestic and eerie wind turbines that permeate the landscape today, west of Ft.McLeod."Sandstone castles" refers to the striking sandstone battlements that line the coulees of this area.
"Cutting horse" is a playful and lively piece, portraying the agility of a well trained saddle horse separating, or ' cutting out" a cow from the herd."Galop" is self explanitory, but there is a long "trot" in the middle.The suite is meant to be a souvenir from Jane's visit to the historic ranch.

Commissioned by: Jane Blackstone

Premiere Information:
24/03/2006 Heliconian Hall Toronto Diane James, horn; Greg James, clarinet; Jane Blackstone, piano.

CATALOGUE INFO:

  • Call Number:
  • MI 8341 N619ha
  • Genre:
  • Mixed Chamber Ensembles (1 to 9 Performers), Trios, Woodwind(s) / Brass, Keyboard(s)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • October 1, 2009
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (i, 40 p.) + 2 parts ([29] p.) ; 28 cm.
    41 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
    Parts page count: 29
  • Additional Information:
  • B flat clarinet; Horn in F; piano
    i) A half-hitch on heaven
    ii ) Wind Farm
    iii ) Sandstone Castles
    iv ) Cutting Horse
    v ) Galop ( sort of )
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