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Shoveling Clouds

Shoveling Clouds

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“Shoveling Clouds” was started on a grey, misty morning and is dedicated to Clara Ziane, a student from France who studied folk guitar with the composer. Beauvais composed Shoveling Clouds for Ziane when introducing her to American folk styles. The piece uses a right-hand picking style called Travis picking - named after Merle Travis, who frequently used it. This picking style creates an alternating bass line, slightly accenting the off beats. The piece has a light syncopated feel, with the final 16th note of every bar giving a slight punch. The title, Shoveling Clouds, references a fictitious character from a detective series created by French author Fred Vargas. This character, Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, is frequently referred to as a cloud shoveler for his strange approaches to solving his cases.

William Beauvais combines a mastery of his instrument with a devotion to composition. He has composed for many notable performers and ensembles, and his music is played around the world. As a guitarist, he won first prizes at the Canadian Music Competition and at the World Centre For Guitar in Martinique. He has taught at the University of Windsor, Queen's University and has been teaching at York University since 1996. He was a faculty member of the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1980 - 2010 and is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

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