The following are the scores used for the recording of Koi: Performing the music of Tim Berne. They were adapted for solo acoustic guitar in a number of ways. Some of them were rewritten from two staves (bass and treble, or treble and treble) to one. One of them was a handwritten score with chord symbols. But in all cases, they were at one time re-written and computerized by me, printed out, and penciled with notes, phrase lines, fingerings, reminders to call my mom, etc.
I think it was a really useful process, taking the original scores and rewriting them. It was the first step in making the music mine, in a way. Of course, I’m not taking credit for the compositional brilliance here. All credit of course goes to Tim in that regard. But in terms of finding my identity through in the music, it first started with taking some ownership in it.
At first, I thought about adding fingerings to the charts included here, as that was an invaluable tool for me in learning and digesting the music. But I don’t want to deprive you from having that experience, if that’s something you choose to pursue. Instead, I’ve included a few performance notes and anecdotes from my musical experiences over the years and, more specifically, in putting this set of music together with the help of Tim and David Torn.
On a personal note, 2020 was an extremely dark year, full of suffering and hardship worldwide. Even now, as I write this, things are getting better…but it feels like we’re still a ways away from enjoying life the way we used to. I found myself quite lost, musically speaking, during the middle of 2020. It wasn’t until I started transcribing Sacred Vowels, Tim’s solo saxophone record, that I found some kind of direction again. That project then turned into this project, which I’m very happy with and excited about. I consider myself extremely lucky that I was able to find some light in the darkness through Tim’s music.
I hope these pages illuminate something to you and sustains your musical life in some way, as they have for me, in more ways than I can say.
Kingston, New York
April 8, 2021