Machaut a Go-go adapts both the music and the lyrics of Machaut’s virelais “Moult sui de bonne heure née” to the go-go style. Go-go is a jazzy offshoot of rap that flourished in Washington, D.C. a while ago. Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers were my main inspiration in adapting the style. Machaut a Go-go was written in 1991 for Kitty Brazelton and her nine-piece band, Dadadah. Kitty made the translation and adaptation of the Machaut lyrics, as well as helping immeasurably to shape the piece. Many thanks to her and the other members of Dadadah for their work and musicianship.
Machaut a Go-go can be performed with an introduction: a performance of the original virelais (for voice and harp or guitar) that is rudely interrupted by the drummer, who leads in the other musicians. Here is a copy of the Machaut to use if you want to do this introduction.
Machaut a Go-go is part of my ongoing project, A Book of Days. You can listen to a Dadadah’s recording by visiting May 7th.
You can download a score of the piece here. You can purchase performance materials by clicking the link below. You are welcome to arrange the piece for different ensembles; the piece is flexible that way, for sure!
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- Instrumentation: saxophone horn trombone percussion (unpitched) harp guitar voice (singer) cello bass
- Ensemble Size: 7-12
- Duration: <5 minutes
- Electronics: No Electronics
- Video: No
- Project(s): A Book of Days Machaut in the Machine Age
- Year: 1991