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Songbook Review: Lightburst
Mark Deeks
Cover image of the songbook Lightburst by Mark Deeks
Mark Deeks
2016 / Music Newcastle
38 pages / 9 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Lightburst is the companion sheet music collection with all nine piano solos from Mark Deeks’ debut album by the same name. The recording is one of my Favorite Albums of 2016, so I was really excited to discover that Deeks is offering the sheet music for sale on his website. The music was composed around the theme of the various aspects of nature’s light, so there is a variety of moods expressed. The majority of the pieces are fairly slow and spare, but some of the rhythms are tricky in places and some of the chords have reaches of more than an octave. Since most of the pieces are on the slow side, they are not overly difficult to play. What is more advanced about this music is the expression required to make these pieces come to life. I thoroughly enjoyed playing this book a couple of times to familiarize myself with the printed scores and will definitely return to them to master some favorites.

The sheet music book is currently available for download - as either the complete PDF book or by individual pieces - on Mark Deeks’ website, http://music-newcastle.co.uk. The music includes metronome settings, expression, pedaling suggestions, and phrasing. Quite a few notes have an abundance of leger lines rather than using 8va or 8vb, but a handy pencil can take the guesswork out of identifying those notes. The layout is roomy and the notation is easy to read. This music is very expressive and pianists at an early-advanced to advanced playing level should find much to enjoy. If you like Mark Deeks’ recorded music, you’ll definitely enjoy his sheet music, too! Recommended!

The titles of the pieces, the keys they are in, and the number of pages are:

Lyg (Flame) - Key of D minor (1 flat)/ E minor (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Lechtblaest (Lightburst) - Key of E minor / G major (1 sharp) - 5 1/2 pages
Uchta (Dusk) - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 4 pages
Berth (Bright) - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 4 1/2 pages
Gliding (Glow) - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 1 1/2 pages
Scymrrian (Shimmer) - Key of D minor - 6 pages
Sunnlic (Solar) - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) / C minor (3 flats) - 3 1/2 pages
Giinlichtan (Illuminate) - Key of F (1 flat) - 5 1/2 pages
Anaelan (Ignite) - Key of C minor - 2 pages
January 10, 2017