When Elizabeth Panzer asked me for a harp piece, I came up with an idea for a big piece based on a poem by Linda Norton (the poet of Landscaping for Privacy) about knitting and the Aran Islands. I still plan to make that piece, but as the deadline neared, I realized I will need more time to write it, so instead I decided to work with a sweet redemptive pattern I had written as an underscore for an audiobook production of Gerald’s Game, one of Stephen King’s more horrific novels. The resulting piece is totally diatonic, doesn’t even require two octaves, uses standard minimalist variation techniques, and in virtually every way plays nice.
I think it’s actually a mean little thing.
There are two recordings available:
The harp version is recorded on Elizabeth Panzer’s CD, Dancing in Place.
A toy piano version (played by two people) is the title cut on twisted tutu’s CD.
Play Nice is part of my ongoing project, A Book of Days. You can hear the twisted tutu version by visiting December 5th.
Here is a score (.pdf) of the solo version.
Here is a score (.pdf) of the duo version.
The graphic is based on a drawing by Emma Grady Pawl.
And you are warmly invited to support this very low-key way of publishing:
Machaut a Go-go adapts both the music and the lyrics of Machaut’s virelais “Moult sui de bonne heure nee” to the go-go style. Go-go is a jazzy offshoot of rap that fourished 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 scan of the original score 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.
And thanks for supporting this low-key way of publishing!