Updated: Feb 22, 2020
Hi everyone! Posting some music for ya as well as an update. This week I have the INCREDIBLE opportunity to go back to Springs for a few days to look through the archives at the Pollock-Krasner house. Pretty surreal stuff, I can't wait to dig in and see where it takes me! I'll mostly be looking for audio clips of interviews that were used to make Jeffrey Potter's biography on Pollock To a Violent Grave. I'm basing this piece's "libretto" on much of the Potter book as well as incorporating some of the actual audio clips that I find. Some things will be sung, some things will be prerecorded speaking, sometimes both, sometimes there will be other text such as poetry or a review. And sometimes there will be a chatter of so many words and ideas, it'll be an "all-over" text setting. That's how it's been so far at least. Let's see where this keeps going!
I'll definitely have much to think about after the trip and I'm sure I'll have plenty to say and tinker with on this blog. In the meantime I'd like to share a bit of the overture and a bit of the proceeding monologue.
FIRST though. I would like to coin a term on here.
Everything on this blog is PEMSM unless otherwise noted. For those not in the know, electronic mock-ups of music using Midi playback not only sounds bad, but it also won't play extended techniques, proper articulations, proper balance, glissandos, sometimes instruments just don't play, and so many other things I'm not sure where to start (or end?) And to top it off, some things you're hearing are just markers for me that will be orchestrated later. What Midi mock-ups WILL do though is give you a ballpark idea of what the piece is about. It's a bit like taking a colorful and giant oil painted mural and then printing it on tiny black and white newspaper. And then it's smudged. And coffee-stained. Also it's crumpled up and stepped on. It's EXACTLY like that! So I promise to not go on and on with disclaimers from here on out. Just a quick PEMSM reminder and off we go.
Overture Excerpt (as of 11/11/18)
The whole piece starts with the vague notion of the car accident. The little crotales you hear and other auxiliary percussion will be part of the stage set and are operated with little motors (like what I used in 24 Hours, but on a larger scale). The set will vaguely resemble a destroyed car.
After the violent and bombastic overture, there is a moment where the people in Springs "chatter" and gossip about the car crash, Pollock's art, and his reckless lifestyle. The music remains lively for a while but it all slowly calms down to reveal Jackson's monologue, which is just Jackson painting quietly and thoughtfully while he narrates about his process.
Monologue Excerpt (as of 11/11/18)
Straight forward, no extra chatter. For this part I'm using Pollock's actual speech from the Hans Namuth film that he made in 1951. It's the only footage that exists of Pollock painting. This film plays a huge role in the piece so you'll have to see what happens.
Can't wait to show more!