Music is the most jealous mistress - Carol McQuire
My music mimics and upturns what I liked at the time. Its innovations are middle class. Orchestras play within traditional boundaries, so I do not see classical pieces for electric
guitar. The word avante garde, or leading edge, is out of date. Stockhausen has become a conservative experience despite its meglomanias. Its idea that music is about parameterisation
needs subverting. It is partly that, but it has always been about breaking parameterisation, to express meaning and even when randomness is parameterised, to go beyond that to
introduce unexpectedness. Popular forms are excluded from such music. They do not end in a fade, there are no references to hip-hop, rap or techno, and they avoid music that is not
European. An exception to the gloom is Squarepusher. Whitehouse is also good. I need to avoid orchestras and use popular forms to reach out, cutting out dead language and be working
class. I thank Marcus Exhale for inviting me to his performance at a hip-hop gig. I realised how limited my ideas were, and that probably I had stopped writing music because I had
reached the edge of what I was able to express, but I needed to go beyond and it wasn't there. At that gig I had the idea of putting Dante's Inferno to music as techno, rap and hip-hop.
It would work, but I do not need to. Schoenberg wrote his own libretto for A Survivor from Warsaw, and it works. I have may own poetry, and there has been a long-term project to
create the music for Seek Now the Truth. I am unsatisfied by its conventional beginnings. It was an idea that it might be adopted in some future performance of the Twickenham Choral
Society, where my cousin is in the choir as an alto. I then wanted to shift its musical focus to the middle east. I now know that with parameterisation between conventional instruments and
that breaks parameterisation. I then looked at my poem Sick, and thought I could do the same there, ending with laughter of the speaker at 'joyous genoicide' and increasing the laughter
from the choir at the Nagasaki or Hiroshima bomb and increasing it at a view of a painting from above of the Gestapo shovelling Jews alive into incinertors and a film of their naked and
emaciated bodies being bulldozed away. The piece would end going downwards until it was so deep as to be inaudible. I have failed up to now. There is still hope.
The music is downloadable. Of my eight compositions, I am hopeful piece no. 10 will be performed. Nightfall and my Sonata
No. 2 were performed at the University of Sussex
on 26th February 2009. Jug on the Table, in memory of Sydney Vale, was due to be constructed. These texts, and that of Seek Now The Truth are given below. The works (with me
on the piano if there is one, unless shown otherwise) are
1. Sonata No. 2: Humoresque - this seems to be the most popular of my works, Kaos and Shipwreck of Dreams (with a slightly related poem).
2. Sonata for Four Hands, performed by Glen Capra and Kevin Allen, in four movements:
Jar of Moonbeams, Dance of the Robots, Rondetto and Cave of Echoes.
3. All my Love for You One of my earliest pieces (played Capra/Allen).
4. Guitar Duet My first work to be performed, by David Jenner and Jon Rattenbury.
5. Death Poem Words by Guantanamo prisoner Jumah Al Dossari.
6. I Anoint my Flesh Words by Wole Soyinka, who was imprisoned in solitary confinement for 22 months for protest against the Biafran war. It is sung by Jane Richards.
7. The Asylum Seeker spoken by Jane Richards and me. A woman escapes a tyrannical regime and seeks haven in another country. But she is imprisoned in a bureaucratic system that drives her insane.
8. Xena For oboe and bassoon. Sibelius wav file. Xena score here. It would be better played at 55 and not 45 BPM.
9. Nightfall (c) Copyright 2008, Composition: Terence Deadman, words Jim Adams (this was played by Mark Richey, tenor Kevin Starns). textFurther works scheduled are
10. A Cobweb's Touch in the Dark. This is already written. The text is by Wole Soyinka.
11. Jug on the Table. text May be performed live in Dublin together with musical recordings and spoken poetry, including Seek Now the Truth as spoken text. To be advertised under
the title 'My love is like a river' with the warning 'distressing and beautiful, beyond the comfort zone of the normal'.
12. Seek Now the Truth. text A future musical project.
13. Professor Peabody's Automatic Underwear Device. text This early text could be performed.
14. Inferno. Dante's Inferno, in English. To expand what I have said already, this uses a marimba note in 4/4 unchanged throughout the piece. It is combined with noise and musical
instruments that dissolve into noise. For rap artists, screamers, and spoken rap choir. As the piece progresses, more text gets interleaved, the rhythm increases, and the volume increases.
A bit like The Rite of Spring, but more frenzied. Ends abruptly with a paiste gong.
15. The Cat is on the Carpet. For baritone sax, two alto saxes, soprano sax, and percussion. The refrain 'the cat is on the carpet' is spoken four times without variation. This is interpresed
with the music and combined with male vocals which reach high sounds and growls. Ends with a fade.
16. Sick. text To expand on what I have already said, the piece begins with a quote from Schoenberg's piano concerto where it becomes a march, electronically enhanced. This is repeated,
with slight variation on the electronics. The background is red and a man in a white cape ascends a pulpit, as the red begins to pulsate. A dodecaphonic descent of violins with strecking
and drums begins the section for the choir, uttering vowelled 'ar' in dodecaphonic counterpoint, followed by paiste gong. The speaker begins the text 'after the triumph and the defeat ... '.
All film is low contrast with a light blue tinge. The text 'some cried for peace and were shot' is accompanied by a backdrop of someone shot through the head. The speaker smiles a little.
The phrase 'to dig their own graves' is accompanied by a picture of naked Jews with shovels in front of an enormous grave as happened in Poland. At the conclusion of the increasingly
hysterical recorded laughter of the piece, the backdrop in black pulsates as the music moves and pulsates downwards so deep as to be inaudible and the pulsation from dark to light gets
darker and darker, ending in blackness and silence.
17. Finnegan's Wake. Opera Electronica, techno, hip-hop, rap, with tin whistle, fiddle, Irish harps and kettle drums merging into noise, and evolving dodecaphonically.
18. Hitler Youth Orchestra plays Jim Adams. 1. Boris Johnston repeated 1234 times. 2. Composition for alsatian dogs. 3. Sounds from an abattoir. 4. Napalm and other explosons.
5. Recordings from 1234 expressive acts of sodomy. 6. Worst bits and mistakes.
19. Is there intelligent life on Earth? old, and wrong, joke
20. Message to all Daleks. text
21. No Time to Understand You. text
22. It is Me. text
23. Dust. text
24. Protection. text
25. My Love is Like a River. text