Guy, Barry (John)

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Guy, Barry (John)

Guy, Barry (John), English double bass player and composer; b. London, April 22, 1947. He took up the double bass and played in a Dixieland jazz group before pursuing training in composition with Stanley Glasser at Goldsmiths’ Coll. in London, where he completed his studies with Buxton Orr and Patric Standford at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1970 he founded the London Jazz Composers Orch. He also played double bass in several ensembles, ranging from early music groups to sym. orchs., and gave recitals. In 1991 he won the Royal Phil. Soc. of London award for chamber music and in 1994 he was co-winner of the Milliard Ensemble composition prize. As a double bass player, his range extends from early music through jazz improvisation to the avant-garde. His compositions reflect similarly varied interests.


DRAMATIC No Man’s Land, ballet after Statements II (1972-74; London, Nov. 13, 1974); Eos, ballet for Double Bass and Tape, after Eos X (1976-78; Bournemouth, Oct. 3, 1978); Video Life, dance piece for Double Bass and Tape (Rimini, Italy, Aug. 27, 1986); Breaking the Surface, film music (Channel 4 TV, June 18, 1986); Kingdom, ballet after After the Rain (1992; Geneva, Jan. 10, 1993). ORCH.: Incontri for Cello and Orch. (1970); D for Solo Amplified Strings (1972; London, Nov. 25, 1974); Flagwalk for Solo Strings (1974); Anna for Amplified Double Bass and Orch. (1974; London, Feb. 24, 1989); Songs from Tomorrow (Munich, Nov. 25, 1975); Eos for Double Bass and Orch. (Baden-Baden, Oct. 23, 1977; also as Eos X for Double Bass and Tape, 1976; London, June 20, 1977); Statements II- Ex for Amplified Double Bass and Orch. (Graz, Oct. 14, 1979; based on Statements II for Amplified Double Bass, 1972); Voyages of the Moon for Amplified Double Bass and Orch. (London, Nov. 8, 1983); UM 1788 for 18 Solo Strings (Manchester, April 1, 1989); After the Rain for Strings (London, Feb. 23, 1992); Concerto for Orchestra, Fallingwater (London, Oct. 13, 1996). CHAMBER: 4 Miniatures for Flute and Piano (1969); 3 string quartets, including No. 2 (1970) and No. 3 for Soprano and Amplified String Quartet, after Wilfred Owen (Southampton, Nov. 10, 1973); Statements II for Amplified Double Bass (1972; reworked as Statements II-Ex for Amplified Double Bass and Orch., Graz, Oct. 14, 1979); Games (for all ages) for Chamber Ensemble (Oxford, May 1973); Play for Chamber Ensemble (1976; Warsaw, Sept. 20, 1977); Eos X for Double Bass and Tape (1976; London, June 20, 1977; also as Eos for Double Bass and Orch., Baden-Baden, Oct. 23, 1977); Details (From the Architecture of Antonio Gaudi) for 2 Oboes, Bassoon, and Harpsichord (1977; Kingston Parish Church, Jan. 20, 1978); Pftff for Cello, Percussion, and Piano (Graz, Oct. 15, 1979); Bitz! for Chamber Ensemble (1979; rev. 1981; London, May 7, 1984); Circular for 2 Oboes, 1 Oboist (London, Oct. 26, 1984); Whistle and flute for Flute and Tape (1985; London, Jan. 6, 1986); rondOH! for Piano, Violin, and Double Bass (Canterbury, Oct. 10, 1985); Look Up! for 8 Cellos (1990; London, Jan. 16, 1991); Bird Gong Game for Improvising Soloist and Chamber Ensemble (Glasgow, March 20, 1992); Mobile Herbarium for Saxophone Quartet (Leicester, Nov. 19, 1992); Celebration for Violin (1994; London, Jan. 14, 1995); Buzz for Viol Consort (1994; London, March 7, 1995); Redshift for 2 Cellos (Manchester, April 30, 1998). VOCAL: Hold Hands and Sing for Chorus and Electronics (London, July 10, 1978); Waiata for Tenor and Medieval Instruments, 1 Player (London, Nov. 13, 1980; rev. for 2 Men’s Voices Playing Various Renaissance Instruments, 1990); The Road to Ruin for 4 Voices and String Quartet, after Sassoon (Darmstadt, July 19, 1986); Remembered Earth for Tenor, Bass, Lute, Viola da Gamba, Synthesizer, and Tape (1992; also for Tenor, Bass, Soprano, Alto, Chorus, Baroque Violin, Double Bass, Oboe, and Harpsichord, 1999); Up coup de des for 4 Men’s Voices, after Mallarme (1994).

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire