snow shoes, maupin, air conditioners, mother's, fleas, satyricon, and you (la cucaracha)

Programme Note

For some reason, the composition of this piece was dominated by my recollections of living in

New Orleans, Summer 1993

lying on the couch drinking snow shoes, a disgusting-sounding but rather tasty little cocktail of Wild Turkey and peppermint schnapps; reading maupin's "Tales of the City," a famously-funny novel about San Francisco, which is very near to where I was living at the time when not in New Orleans; complaining about air conditioners, both their overuse in general and our lack thereof in particular; escaping every now and then to eat collard greens cooked with a whole pig's foot at mother's restaurant; scratching in the apartment of a partially-lobotomised cat crawling with ravenous fleas; watching Fellini's satyricon with Ludi and Sarah, Sarah being the you of (la cucaracha) fame, the memorably efficacious killer of cockroaches pressed into duty when yours truly didn't have the guts to deal with the 10cm-long flying, biting beasts. Michael John. Dead. Underwater. On the other side of the world.

"the war came running in and next I knew
I was in New Orleans
walking into a bar drunk
after falling down in the mud on a rainy night.
I saw one man stab another and I walked over and
put a nickel in the juke box.
it was a beginning. San
Francisco and New Orleans were two of my
favorite towns."

Charles Bukowski

Breath and breathing were main concerns and sound sources for the piece, hence extended periods of playing without the mouthpiece and an overall high noise content. The main processing techniques were: sound granulation/time-stretching/-scattering/-splintering using custom algorithms developed with CLM (thanks to CLM's author Bill Schottstaedt of CCRMA, Stanford University); convolution, to meld bass clarinet and ambient sounds, including a recording of a steam organ from a Mississippi river boat---thanks Roland!; and my slippery chicken algorithmic composition software for the overall structuring of the instrumental and electronic parts. The piece consists in the main of long, continuous stretches of sound and focuses hardly at all (on the audible level at least) upon structures made up of "note events."

This composition was made possible by the kind support of the ".KUNST Bundeskanzleramt" of the Austrian government.