American composer G.S. Haynes has been quietly working to enrich the quality of our musical culture for almost 50 years. If surprise and delight have a single word in the contemporary classical world, for decades it has been Haynes. Teacher, performer, conductor, writer and lecturer as well as prolific composer, Maestro Haynes has - and continues to - weave his golden thread through the fabric of our musical times and into history.
Melody has always been central to the human musical experience. We learn our first little songs by memorizing the melodies, we can trace our life progress through bits of popular songs. Our language has imbedded melody in many frequently used phrases. Melody is the motivator in most of these compositions, the path that leads us to the beautiful moments and the exciting passages. The music of Haynes has always been known for his remarkable gift of melody. He is a prolific melodist, and his melodies always have motion. They announce the journey, and then become the wheels for the journey. The cohesiveness and logic of his melodic lines does not prevent surprise and wildness of flight, and never gets in the way of emotion.
Spensser Haynes had begun his musical journey by age 7, and quickly developed abilities at the piano, and with several stringed instruments. But composition was his great passion almost immediately. Fifty years later, he still speaks of writing music as an act like breathing, and still steadily produces compositions and musical ideas in a wide range of styles.
A decade of study at the piano provided a firm foundation in theory and an abundance of practical experience, but it was as a violinist - and already playing some of his own music - that he made his Town Hall debut and began to perform throughout the country. Most musicians will tell you his music is always playable and interesting, and it is always built on solid traditional technique, and designed to be effective played by live musicians for live audiences. This combination of solid practical experience and theoretical depth creates an excitement that also comes across in these recordings.
There is something unique about the intensity and depth of his involvement with his art and his friends that sets Spensser Haynes apart. There is an ease in his commitments, but always he is consistently there, and ready to give and to share. This comes across in person, in his ability to hold our attention seemingly without effort, and in a sense that life is good when he is around. This comes across in his music too. It always invites us in and treats us to a nice time.
For anyone who enjoys classical music, the music of G.S. Haynes is hard to ignore. It is very familiar, yet strangely unknown. Some people feel they know or have heard his work the first time they hear it. He speaks for the generation that believed in the power of Love. He hears the influence of Mozart, Brahms, Kallinikov, Stravinsky, Delius, Still, Anhalt in his own music. Others hear Bach and Beethoven, Tchaikowsky and Rachmaninov. We can also hear the influence of Charles Mingus and Joe Venuti and the Rolling Stones and Jimmy Page. Spensser Haynes is a musician who tries to bring in all the best that music contains, and make it all one, so it can contribute the best of our time to the long musical art tradition.
The music was recorded at Ivy Dawg Studio and mastered at The Pearl Factory, Hamilton, New Jersey USA. Most of this volume was recorded before the June 2008 upgrade of the facility. The three movements of the "Metropolis" violin and piano sonata, and the "November Nomads" solo piano work, were remastered after most of the new equipment was in place, but a few small software additions were later made to complete the improvements.
The recordings for this series are produced by The Publishers' Coalition from original edition scores under the supervision of the composer, to commemorate the first 50 years in music of G.S. Haynes.