A Summing Up

There’s a book a friend of mine, Robert Help, read when he was about my age, called The Summing Up, by Somerset Maugham. I’ve not yet read it (it’s on my list with several thousand others), but just the title strikes a responsive chord with me. It’s what I seem to be doing right now: summing up all I’ve written and recorded (audio and/or video), and where the scores and recordings might be found, listed all in into one spot: https://hiltonkeanjones.com/compositions/.

It’s a monumental effort. In addition to what’s already on that page, I have 46 more original compositions to get on there and 34 arrangements of public domain tunes. That’s not counting all the links that need to be added to existing listings on the page and any new pieces I might manage to write and record.

Why?

As a former composition student, now himself a teacher and a friend, once answered when I asked myself why I continued to write: “Because that’s what you do.” It’s probably the best answer I’ve ever heard. (I assume that answer also applies to organizing what one has written.) Although, I am well aware and fully admit “vanity of vanities! All things are vanity” is even more true.

The most recent addition to the composition page is an updated version of The World of Starlit Butterflies.

The World of Starlit Butterflies, 2022, 1 movement, solo piano
VIDEOAUDIO
https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/the-world-of-starlit-butterflies-digital-sheet-music/22378788
https://www.sheetmusicdirect.com/en-US/se/ID_No/1225362/Product.aspx

The World of Starlit Butterflies, 2022, 1 movement, keyboard ensemble (piano & electronic keyboard)
VIDEOAUDIO
https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/the-world-of-starlit-butterflies-digital-sheet-music/22377404
https://www.sheetmusicdirect.com/en-US/se/ID_No/1224408/Product.aspx

The piano part is completely rewritten so it’s shorter and hopefully more interesting but still fun to play and listen to. The 2 keyboard version and the solo piano version have exactly the same piano part. In other words, the strings are optional. Using the second keyboard gives pianists the chance to experience ensemble playing, a skill they’ll need in order to earn a living later in life. The fundamental piece is the solo piano version, the video that leads this article.

I seem to have found “my place,” writing pieces and arrangements for piano that fit the “easy intermediate” difficulty level. I’m quite happy to have found “my place.” It’s my happy place! Those pieces are selling!

Claude & Maurice

Well…after selling my old Steinway baby grand a few years ago when I sold my condo and moved to renting, and after a few years of that and finally buying at house (!), I bought another acoustic piano again! I love it.

A good friend, herself an organist/pianist, asked if I’d given it a name yet. I never thought of that. So, I let names percolate in my head and the one that comes to mind that seems to have stuck is “Claude.” Claude came with a personality too. Difficult to describe, but he’ll be good for me.

In honor of Claude, here’s a little video of an old organ piece of mine from a set of organ pieces called 3 Songs for 4 Composers.

It comes to mind that my Claude is a southern boy, so like all southern boys he needs a middle name and his shall be “Maurice.” And, in true southern boy tradition in polite society it’s proper to refer to him as Claude Maurice.

KOL MISHP’CHOT HAAHDAHMAH

KOL MISHP’CHOT HAAHDAHMAH
Composed by
Hilton Kean Jones
ref: Gen 12:1-3; Jer 31:1
for SATB chorus w/accompaniment
commissioned by Congregation Scharrai Zedek
underwritten by B. Terry and Leslie Aidman

Score of now available at the following links:

String Quartet

Another sheet music listing, my string quartet. The performance is a very advanced student group from the former East Germany. I thought they did a terrific job on the piece. Frankly, it didn’t think it was possible. They got the savage, aggressive character that I wanted perfectly too! Such passion!

You can listen to all four movements for free at the links below and see the first 5 pages of the score. If you’d like a freebie PDF of the complete thing, drop me a msg.


Sonatina for Cello and Piano

I’ve been working at filling out my SheetMusicPlus and SheetMusicDirect listings. Here’s a recent one: Sonatina for Cello and Piano. It’s available at these links:

https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/sonatina-for-cello-piano-digital-sheet-music/22451414
https://www.sheetmusicdirect.com/en-US/se/ID_No/1279280/Product.aspx

At those links you can stream the audio of the complete piece for free and look at the first 5 pages of the score. Of course, the score and any parts are available for purchase and download at a very nominal fee.

Two dear friends, Robert Helps (deceased) and Scott Kluksdahl did a sight-reading run through for this demo recording. I’m so grateful for their willingness to do so.

Garden of Stars (live perform video)

I’m working at getting videos of me actually playing some of the recent pieces. Then, as I go along, I hope to start playing catch-up and record videos some of the older pieces. In my 77, soon to be 78, years I’ve written hours of music. I know I’ll never make videos of it all, but at least some of it, maybe…pieces that work for piano.

Fire of Justice, Fire of Love (organ & solo trumpet, congregation & chorus)

(note: title screen is silent, music starts with score)


Fire of Justice, Fire of Love
for unison congregation and chorus,
organ, and solo trumpet

words & music by
Hilton Kean Jones

In honor of Blessed Mother Marie-Rose Durocher, Foundress of
The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (Soeurs des Saints Noms de J├ęsus et de Marie)
Commissioned by the Academy of the Holy Names, Tampa, Florida October 6, 2018

Mov 5 The Geography of Dreams: “Amidst The City’s Desolation The Anima Appears As A Woman Clothed In Radiant White”

A word of explanation about the title, The Geography of Dreams. Some folks have recurring dreams. I don’t, but all of my numinous dreams take place in the same geographical location. It’s a city on a peninsula beside a sea, similar to San Francisco or St. Petersburg where I now live; however, it’s definitely in Europe — feels as if it might be Spain — and in a far different time…whether in the distant past or distant future, perhaps another dimension, I can’t tell.

The different movements of The Geography of Dreams are programmatic pieces based on actual numinous dreams I had that take place in the city by the sea.

So, while I’m dealing with this insomnia, I’m creating score videos of the different movements. Not doing them in order of performance, but rather just as the spirit moves me.

Fantasy for Harp and Chamber Orchestra (score video)

In the midst of moving so almost everything I own — except a handful of clothes, the coffee maker, and my laptop — is in boxes! I’m having insomnia so in the wee hours I’m returning to make videos of scores playing along with their tracks as a way to stay somewhat sane.

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