De toutes flours (Machaut in the Machine Age II)

Machaut in the Machine Age II is one of a series of pieces responding to the art of Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377.) This one is working with a few samples from an old LP recording of the ballade De toutes flours.

I made the piece for the duo Basso Bongo {Robert Black, contrabass & Amy Knoles, MIDI percussion} at the height of the AIDS crisis. The poet and translator William Mullen came up with this version of the medieval French:

Of all my garden’s many fruits and flowers
none is left me but a single rose.
Not one, of all the rest that once were ours,
weathered Fortune’s blasting: Fortune who knows
how to undo her bloom,
blast her hue and her perfume.
If by your wicked tricks my rose should fall,
desire another love I never shall.

The piece can be performed by a solo bass player with a pre-recorded track as well as by a duo where the electronics are performed live.

Machaut in the Machine Age II is part of my ongoing project, A Book of Days. Please visit January 17th to hear a recording of the piece.

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When you purchase the materials, we will send you all materials necessary for performing the bass solo version, unless you ask specifically for the materials that will allow you to play the piece with live electronics (and an additional player on some kind of MIDI controller.)

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