Grey readies hard-bound limited edition “Damned Suites” collection
Collections of pipe music are difficult to sell these days, but composer Michael Grey is hoping that a limited edition hard-bound book that compiles five of his controversial medley-suites, along with several other compositions published for the first time, will attract discerning buyers.
Damned Suites and Other Music is Grey sixth collection of pipe music, and will be available via online orders at $50 each, with a print-run limited to 500 copies. The hard-bound book is 84 pages, and includes illustrations, splashes of colour, editorial and is wrapped in a dust-cover, a rarity for modern pipe music. Grey will sign and number each copy.
“I’ve been asked for years for copies of the scores for these medleys and thought recently that there was now enough material to justify a book where some good people might pay for the tunes – and others, well, they can now scan and copy, and burn in hell,” Grey said. “I had an idea to create an ‘arty’ book. I was thinking of a scrapbook thing – tunes, words, images, whatever, very random, one that really talked to the idea of the music, one that projected the feel of the music, and me, too. So that’s what this book is. I don’t think there’s been anything quite like it before. I’ve incorporated comments from adjudicator’s scoresheets – direct lifts, or scans off the pages – some good; some not. Even if you hate my music, I think you might get a kick out of this book.”
Damned Suites include all five of the avant-garde medleys that Grey has composed for the Grade 1 Toronto Police Pipe Band since he joined in 2007: “Variations on a Theme of Good Intentions,” “Idiomatica,” “Gallus No. 3,” “Huff” and “Cutting Bracken,” the last which the band performed in the Grade 1 Final at the 2012 World Pipe Band Championships. The medley was easily the most discussed and debated music of the competition.
Grey said that the new collection will be ready to ship on November 12, 2012, and that advance orders are accepted and will receive a 10 per cent discount.
The scores of the suites include all harmony lines and musical directions from Grey.
When asked how he arrived at the $50 price, Grey said, “Too much? I don’t know. Lots of people seem to be cool with buying limited edition Barbie dolls at Toys”R”Us for $50 a pop, keep them wrapped in cellophane and flip them on eBay five years after purchase for twice the price. Who knows? Maybe that can happen here: me and Barbie: eBay competitors.”