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The Story of Extras
Here are five pieces of music by me. I’ve been composing since I was a teenager, collecting real-world instruments, tape recorders, then MIDI stuff and fx boxes, and finally software. Twenty years of buying this stuff and reading badly written manuals. I’ve never wanted a career as a composer; it’s just something I have to do every once in a while or go crazy. One thing I’ve noticed, it’s easier to get someone to listen to a five-minute piece than read a whole novel. Funny, that.
All of these pieces were commissioned by a dancer named Ellis Wood, so please don’t dance to them. I mean, you can sway and stuff, but don’t put on a performance with these tunes. It wouldn’t be fair to the nice downtown choreographer who gave me money to write her these signature pieces.
If you want to find out how to see her work live, go to www.wooddance.net. If you burn these tunes and get some sort of shareware urge to pay for them, go there and give Ellis’s company some cash. As a writer, I may sometimes starve, but she’s a DANCER for god’s sake.
The pieces have been performed in Sweden, Portugal, Canada, and all over the NYC dance scene: Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Movement Research at the Judson Church, the Martha @ Mother series, Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Thanks to all these fine institutions.
“Home for the Naked” mp3 (4.7Mb)
13th-century ballads in Old French. Love it when great vocalists record a capella. Um, can’t remember her name, though. Bad sampling etiquette.
“Arabic #1” mp3 (5.4Mb)
This bit of appropriation features a block-rockin’ chant from a Berber (Moroccan tribal) caught on an old ethnomusicology tape. Also a bit of Arabic chant and one syllable of a western-style opera singer.
“Arabic #2” mp3 (4.2Mb)
More Arabic chants combined with mouth-harps and, toward the end, the sampled lead singer of a band called Seven Year Bitch. You will hear how crappy my scratching is; no Grand Wizard Theodore, me. But my work with the mouth-harp rules.
“Arabic #3” mp3 (4.5Mb)
The last of the Arabic trilogy. Samples include a South African band I can’t remember the name of, more Karen Finley, and yet another chant in Arabic. The chanting guy can really dig into his glottal regions, and I think it’s a religious thing.