Remarks from an Oratory Address (2014)

(warning: contains some strong language. If this were a movie, it might rate PG-13)

Title: Remarks from an Oratory Address
Completion date: April 2014
Instrumentation: voice, 4-channel live electronics (max patch)
Duration: 5’30″-6’00″
Premiered: 2014 04 26 by the composer at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.
Text:

Thank you, thank you! I’m honored to be here today. Tonight! I speak to you from a moment of great urgency. You know my reputation. I’m a straight-talkin’, straight-shootin’, straight-edge, crook of a smile, brook no junior high deep dish pizza pie kinda guy.

Those dishonorable harlequins want you to believe that they seek “synergetic reconciliation of the logistical standards in paramilitary exposure touchpoints”.

They lie! The truth is far more sinister. “Synergetic reconciliation”? Calibrate your next-gen expectations, friends. They seek only to diversify paradigm analytics vis-a-vis offensive budgetary actions per the downsized visibility platform.

To warfight this extremist radical vision, we will leverage anti-sentimentalist revenue streams to prevent prefabricated pretexts from preempting postwar preparations. At the same time, our postmodernist enemy subjugates the traditional mandate, postponing postaxial prepossession wonks to properly position post-dated possibilities.

I say simply: this ain’t some vigilante, gonzo, Transcendentalist, Commie bullshit. You’ve heard one thing from me today, straight and clear: truth. Thank you, and remember: vote for democracy next week!

Score: [forthcoming]
Recording/Video: [forthcoming]

Personal Notes:

This piece is my second attempt at using electronics and first time mixing it with a live performer. For some ridiculous reason, I decided early on in the process of writing this piece that I would perform it myself – a decision that caused me great grief as the project moved along. I usually don’t feel terribly nervous before performances, but I experienced the worst bout of stage fright before the premiere that I’ve had in years.

Of course, then I actually performed the piece and it was awesome. The decision to perform the piece was intended to push out of my comfort zone and try something new – for me, at least. I’m not a hardcore performer by any means, and have precisely zero prior experience doing so as a vocalist/actor. Well – I guess it worked? I used my own text, edited fairly significantly (for the better), and I think managed to blend music, text, narrative, and theater in an interesting way – something I’ve been trying to do off and on for years now. I’m eager to work in this electronics-plus-theater vein more. We’ll see what happens next time.

As the composer, writer, and performer for this piece I have a very a close relationship with the materials of the piece. My favorite parts of the piece are the rhythmic speaking sections, especially the second one toward the end of the piece, as well as just the text itself. I love this just as a piece of writing and think I achieved intense meaninglessness quite effectively. On the negative side, I think my performance isn’t as strong as it could be, and also that the pacing of the first half is a bit off-kilter (especially in its transitions from gesture to gesture).

Special thanks to Peter Van Zandt Lane for teaching a great class on Max/MSP at Brandeis and from whom I learned basically everything I know of it.

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