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Thermals - for Guitar and Clarinet in Bb

By Philip McIntosh and David Kumpf

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Guitar, Clarinet - Advanced Intermediate
Composed by Philip McIntosh and David Kumpf. 21st Century. Set of Parts, Score. 33 pages. Published by David Kumpf (S0.9228).

Item Number: S0.9228

PLEASE NOTE: FREE backing tracks for Thermals (sound effects during one portion) are available at Also, you can hear samples of the composition by looking for the version for guitar and clarinet in A.We believe interpretation of any creative work, be it a painting, a poem, or a musical composition, should be left to the listener and performer. Even so, it is not difficult to imagine the inspiration for Thermals. Of the several meanings of the word, it is the meteorological one that applies here—a rising body of warm air.It has taken several years for this work to come to fruition. After experimenting with a variety of styles, forming and reforming bands, and trying a range of composing and recording methods, nothing seemed to be producing the desired results. After a time, a couple of things became clear: the fewer people involved in a project the easier it is to organize; and, we realized that we each had our own unique outlook, interests, and skills that seemed to keep us working together, even as others came and went. In the end, we decided that the Universe was perhaps trying to tell us something. Beginning in 2012 we embarked on a number of composition projects requiring only the two of us, a variety of musical instruments, computer hardware and software, recording devices, and most importantly—ideas.From the beginning, Thermals was conceived as a duet for clarinet and guitar. The repertoire for those two instruments is considerably less than vast. Given how many guitarists and clarinetists there are on this planet, perhaps it was time someone did something about it.The guitar part is scored for steel stringed acoustic, but there is no reason a classic or electric guitar could not be used. This transcription is for Bb clarinet. To facilitate ease of playing on the Bb clarinet, the clarinet part is in the key of Bb, while the guitarist tunes down 1/2 step and plays the part as written.Although the work can be performed with one clarinet and one guitar, the movement entitled “Lost in the Clouds” offers opportunities for additional performer input and variation in instrumentation. It is written in bass clef, but any low instrument can be used with easy transposition (see score for suggestions) and the sound effects and percussion possibilities are limitless. You can get an idea of what we were thinking by listening to our recorded performance of the piece, which employed a Roland® keyboard for the low part and an Animoog® synthesizer on an iPad® for sound effects. You can leave those parts out completely, punch in a recording at the point marked in the score, or invite the participation of other musicians. Instead of using synthesized sound effects a percussionist using a wide variety of instruments (wood block, coin on symbols, found objects, etc.) would be effective. Complete recorded low and synthesizer parts are available separately to allow performance of the piece as we recorded it.No matter your choice of instruments, we hope you will enjoy interpreting and performing Thermals as much as we enjoyed creating it.Philip McIntosh and Dave KumpfColorado Springs, CO.

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