First Piece



Warp & Weft
This piece, "Warp & Weft," is dedicated to the memory of Morton Feldman. Speaking of the work, Chad Mealey said, "In the past years we have had many losses in the world of music to mourn. Why did the date of Morton Feldman's death in 1987 touch such a chord in me? Inexplicable feelings of guilt arose in me. I had just discovered Feldman for myself. Just before his death I began to appreciate the unusual purity of his music. I had had the impression of the same kind of purity in the ballads of Guillaume de Mauchaut. And besides, for a long time I had wanted to meet Feldman personally and now it would not come to that." The work is scored for bowed piano strings, electronics powered by a mock up of "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" (in this performance, a Palm Pilot is used) and is described simply: "Warp & Weft: a personal threnody: an ultimate closing chord: a mystical, threshold experience."

Thread Bare
The threads of inspiration leading to this world premier performance of "Thread Bare" are multitudinous. Dennis Aman and Chad Mealey have performed pieces for bowed piano by Steven Scott in the past, but have taken the concept into a new realm. Rather than performers submerging themselves into the guts of a grand piano, the bows used here have been elongated to transform the two performers into dancers. In fact they are dancers just as much as musicians. One could just as easily state that the piano has submerged itself into the guts of the performers with these elongated bows, transforming the dancers into puppets.

Tractor My Daisy Head
The lost art of original Irish puppetry closely resembles the more mainland (French) "marionette" puppets of "Punch and Judy" we are all familiar with. But the puppetry of the northern United Kingdom Islands involved the intricate manipulation of considerably more strings, counter-weights and pulleys. Thus several puppets can be "tractored" by a single puppet master. Additionally the "story lines" if you can call them that of Irish Head Puppetry are largely allegorical and thus are about "states" or attitudes. As in Ancient Greek plays, the various puppets would represent states like "sad" (frost) or "happy" (daisy).

Ghost in the Machine
Our activities dictate a need for certain tools. As our tools grow more advanced, the tools begin to dictate our activities and our behavior. We adapt our environment to our needs only to find that our needs were in fact determined by our environment. Instruments were created to perform the music we want to hear. We hear music from the instruments performed. Musicians and composers now draw inspiration from the capabilities and qualities of a musical instrument. The instrument creates the music. We are moved by the music. We are the tools of our own tools. The circle goes around and machines begin to think for themselves.

Cat's Cradle
"I've got no strings to hold me down," sings Pinocchio in act three of the film bearing his name. The character plays an "everyman" in this morality play about a person's discovery of the dualistic nature of reality and our society in particular. The internal versus the external. The self versus the non-self. Pinocchio (and each of us) learn that we are all bound by strings; some strings are desired (those connecting to Geppetto, or to friendly crickets) and some strings are not (those connecting to evil circus performers, or overly corporate animation studios). But there is a yin/yang flavor to strings, the desired and undesired strings can be one and the same. Cutting some strings may risk others. Be careful who you tie yourself to. Be careful which strings you cut.

Cat's Cradle
The threads of inspiration leading to this world premier performance of "Cat's Cradle" are multitudinous. Dennis Aman and Chad Mealey have performed pieces for bowed piano by Steven Scott in the past, but have taken the concept into a new realm. Rather than performers submerging themselves into the guts of a grand piano, the bows used here have been elongated to transform the two performers into dancers. In fact they are dancers just as much as musicians. One could just as easily state that the piano has submerged itself into the guts of the performers with these elongated bows, transforming the dancers into puppets.