Top Module Empty
Main Menu
Sheet Music
Jazz Theory
Rate this site:
Evolvent (Manuscript)

 yuriy_galkin_100'Evolvent' was the winning composition by Yuriy Galkin in the small band category of the Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition 2010, sponsored by the Wavendon Foundation, the Worshipful Company of Musicians and Jazzorg.   Composer and Bassist Yuriy Galkins was born in Russia and came to England in 2005 to undertake a postgraduate scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music.   He had already studied at the prestigious Gnessin Russian Academy of Music and worked on the Moscow jazz scene, performing at Le Club, JVL Club, and the Central House Of Culture, whilst, at the same time, featuring as a principal double bassist with the Stupino Philharmonic Orchestra.   Demonstrating his polymath tendencies coincidentally, Yuriy also completed his Master's Degree in Aeronautical Engineering, which probably accounts for the mathematical title of his winning composition.   During his time at RAM, Yuriy worked with Gerard Presencer, Jeff Clyne, Duncan Hopkins, Pete Churchill, and Dave Holland and, in 2008, formed his 9-piece Symbiosis Jazz Orchestra (not to be confused with the Italian mob).   Of a Symbiosis gig at the Vortex, critic John Fordham wrote ’Galkin's writing temptingly hinted at salsa vamps which were twisted into contrastingly arrhythmic figures, before resolving briefly into conventionally blaring big-band riffs.   [one feature].… had a whimsically drifting, Carla Bley-like atmosphere and shrewd contrapuntal development’   You can stay up to date with what Yuriy is doing by visiting his myspace page [here] and try and catch the latest Symbiosis CD.

This composition takes no prisoners and we rate it as ‘difficult’.   The main time signature is 7/4 and there are lots of speed changes and switches between jazz and even quavers.   The baritone player may trigger a hernia changing to soprano and the bass player has got to read and finger some tricky passages.   A good drummer is also needed to hold it together.   Frank Griffiths thought the movements of the piece enhanced its appeal - ‘Yuriy’s composition brilliantly juxtaposes the 4/4 and 7/4 metres in a seamless way.   The harmonic shapes and colours at ‘K’ through ‘Q’ challenge the soloist nicely, but not too much, resulting in an engaging improvisational aspect to the piece. ‘   The download manuscript notation is also 'keyless' or 'chromatic' in that is every part is 'written in C' with all deviations shown as accidentals - this technique is often used for atonal or modal music or for pieces which move through a number of key centres, arguably making them easier to read.   But there, when it's under the fingers, your band and the audience will love it - listen to Yuriy's own band on the audio download and see if you can match it.

yuriy_cleo_jacqui_2_300Yuriy is pictured left receiving his prize from Dame Cleo Laine and Jacqui Dankworth, where he was making a fairly unsuccessful attempt to explain to them the meaning of the mathematical term ‘evolvent’.

However, the music said it all and was summed up in Tim Garland's view - ‘This piece has really been thought through and balances freedom for soloists with catchy cues and harmonies from the band that push the soloist forward.   There are strong linear elements in the writing too which help create the sense of 'evolution' that the title evokes - the baritone writing is especially notable.   The composition has the potential to develop with repeat performances too, with the rounds of improvised interjections making it a real ensemble feature, using well-designed harmony changes as a further spur to creative playing.   A really enjoyable piece.’

We asked judge Nikki Iles to summarise for us and her enthusiastic response was - ‘A very exciting and impressive piece of contemporary writing.   There is evidence here of a deep understanding of instrumentation and colour with great blend throughout and some lovely fresh and original groupings of instruments.   The overall design of the composition is very strong , with consistently well-judged pacing of contrasting textures.   The bass figure features strongly in this piece but never dominates and there is a very good awareness of the balance of light and shade regarding the ‘feel’.   This is a great example of a composer really understanding the sometimes difficult, but very important, balance between the written and improvised music.   Here they are both dove-tailed beautifully - great stuff !

  • Downloads
  • Only 3 sample pages of Yurir’s composition (from the alto, trumpet and trombone parts) are displayed on your monitor and you can get a full pdf download of all the parts and a 'control score' by clicking [this link]  The download is a self-extracting zip file, which means you only have to double click the exe file after you've downloaded and the file will automatically extract into the folder in which you have downloaded the original exe file.
  • A download of the full MP3 audio version of ‘Evolvent’ is also available by clicking [this link]

Trinity Ensembles Personnel:
Leaders: Malcolm Earle-Smith (tbn) and Mark Lockheart
Reeds/Flutes: Ben Mallinder, Will Scott,Stephen Mathers, Leo Aarons-Richardson, Gregory Sinclair, Oliver Nezhati, Sam Evans, Max Johnson, Jonny Griffiths, Felix Cox.
Trumpets/Flugels: Conor Cantrell, Jonathan Murray, Laura Jurd, Michael Soper, Ben Dawson, Nick Walters, Jack Coward, Jeff Brown.
Trombones: Eleanor Smith, Chris Mackey, Adam Tyas, Natalie Witts, George Wrench.
Rhythm and Percussion: Nathan Morson, Mitch Jones (pno), James Kitchman, Matt Redman (gtr), A-J Brinkman, Loz Garratt (bass), Elizabeth Exell, Douglas Marriner, Dave Elliott(drms).
Voice: Paola Bottomley.

Photographer: Pictures courtesy of David Sinclair.

The Trinity College Jazz Ensemble perform Yuriy Galkin's ‘Evolvent’ at a concert at Ronnie Scott's club in March 2010, conducted by Mark Lockheart.

Click on the player buttons to hear a sample of this piece.   The sample picks up at rehearsal mark ‘C’, where trumpet and alto play the melody line.   Remember, you can download the full track and the full notation!

Downloading of copies of the music manuscript are subject to the Jazzorg Licence 2, described under the 'Copyright' menu tab.       You can discuss or comment on this piece in the forums.


Next >