Music is the most jealous mistress - Carol McQuire
Art can fuck off - Jim Adams
This could be framed as a task by a professor teaching my work -
In 10,000 words express what 'Art can fuck off' means to me.
An opera a day keeps the psychiatrist away
Government advice is more exact
Five operas and film scripts a day are necessary for full psychiatric health.
Before I start I would like to say something about your musical education, and without being too pushy, but I am, I am going to suggest you get as far away from the university system as
you can. I don't say composing music is impossible using a university education system, you can walk backwards from Cairo to Khartoum if you want. I just say it's very difficult. So avoid
learning their conformity rules, music is about expression and not conformity. You can adopt conformity if you want. In my very strong opinion it is not what music is about. So avoid their
incompetence teaching, it may spread to you, and go out and develop your musical and compositonal style.
I would like to add an additional remark, which does not hang with what went before. Suppose I compose something and it doesn't work. What do I do? I think there are two possible
answers to that. You can put it right or you can make it more wrong. I like the escalation idea. Can't get a bank loan? Set up a bank. I am serious. Maybe you don't believe it is possible.
It is. Banks aren't set up with money. One way is to set up a legal system so they are valid. You can buy them, but unless you want to print money of some sort or other, this is very
probably too expensive for you. I can teach you how, but I am not particularly interested at the moment. I want a bath and it's getting urgent. Also do I have any fresh socks?
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 The word avante garde, or leading edge, is out of date.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 was at one stage 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 forms of noise, parameterisation of rythm to include techno and hip-hop, and including elements of rap, I can now achieve this expressively as I want, as
an overarching structure that breaks parameterisation. Newness is a disruption of the past and the contents of Seek Now The Truth I would say declare eternal verities which are often
expressed in religious services which sometimes deeply maintain conventions. Wishing to relate to everyone, I need to realise that what I have to say I should be understood by everyone
irrespective of their place within the innovation/tradition divide. 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. Studying dodecaphonic music is wrong. Write it.
9. Nightfall (c) Copyright 2008, Composition: Terence Deadman, words Jim Adams (this was played by Mark Richey, tenor Kevin Starns). text. We have to recognise this does not work.
The text works, in normal circumstances the music should work, but it is terrible. Terence is very good at expressing with great empathy the poems of someone with mental illness which
are deeply beautiful. I thought he would be well suited to rendering in music this poem which I produced for him. Unfortunately, his music is both nice and traditional, and although he can
express chromaticism well, the net result despite good intentions on both parts, and an expectation that it would work, is something that is wrong. Wrong is not bad, but it is better wrong
deliberate rather than wrong unintentional. One cannot express one's death in bel canto. The near opposite is in Disconnect 1 below. Perhaps we have used this mistake to develop new
music. This is a good way to develop new forms, and I thank Terence that our joint mistake may, like all things in life, lead to something of value.
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.
Interlude: Explanation of subsequent works, why and how they were produced and how they can be understood.
14. Inferno. This is in three parts. Part I involves people with no faces, like egg shells, surrounded by white lacelike garments with a white enveloping undergarment and slender arms.
They walk about slowly and aimlessly. There are various subscenes and subportions where partitions are put across so film scenes can be blocked off, or in one case, where skeletons
dancing before a black screen face on are later revealed as dancing with their backs to the audience. Later, before a screen, handsome naked men with 12 inch penises erect but not vertical
in a line move slowly towards a line of naked women, all with artificially large breasts, where only the first caresses the first woman. They all have identifiable black pubic hair. Basically
Satanic, but rather more atmospheric than Prayer to Humanity (which anyway has no music). The music is largely tonal identifiable electronic, with no common instrument connotatons,
and some background noise incorporated. A choir with sounds but no text accompanies the reverberating voice of the text, to accompanying electronica. There is no particular rhythm, but
the music is rather slow. The music is accompanied by films invoking death in many forms, sometimes in sections which are partitioned off by screens moved from left to right by people
moving slowly in lines. The text invokes poetically the End of Everything in many forms. Part II is 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. Part III denotes
how the End of Everything becomes physical. It has many manifestations. There is a section, a part of three, with a backdrop of Mars where the disembodied text says (there are two people
in white moving from left to right whilst this happens): Where is this? It is Earth. Its redness is redness of the dead. They died in heaps upon it. Great is Lucifer in his Ending. All will cease
to exist. The Martian backdrop goes. The couple reach an area of the stage which slowly elevates, presenting new films. Similar text accompanies invocation number two, the explosion
of a planet, where its coordinates are given and the third, similarly the explosion of a galaxy. In each invocation, there is an identifiable sound. In the final part the people with egg like
faces in a backdrop mainly in black are accompanied by scenes of atrocities as abstract paramaterised accompaniments to the music which is losing electronic tonality. A partition slowly
drops vertically. I am not being presciptive, experiment what is best. Maybe the partition is not vertical, 90 degrees, but 60 degrees. Its partially visible structure is subject to viscous liquids
from the top, some of which may be blood. As the partition drops, there are three instances of the identifiable sound. The aimless egg people stop this and at each identifiable sound the egg
people move back one step in unison. The fluidity of the skeltons is replaced by three different static poses. The handsom men and voluptuous women begin to move slowly and aimlessly
about. As the descending partition reaches the visible top of the performers, they freeze in mid motion. As the partition descends to completion there are three instances of the identifiable
sound. Finally the music becomes an amalgam and development of the three parts. The four marima notes are interspersed with four rests. The paiste gong appears three quarters through
this episode. A screen is pushed from left to right by an exhausted man low down in rags with partly visible flesh. The screen contains a large portrait of the political leader of the country
at the time of the performance, in greyscale. A Gestapo officer approaches slowly from right to left, and in the climax, in three motions the man in rags, seeing he is about to be shot, looks
up and moves backwards in three ineffectual steps. A gunshot to his head with a state of blood accompanies the electronic end of the piece.
If they want to, people should be allowed to scream at the end of the piece.
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. Disconnect 1 This is intended to introduce the first of four new musical styles. This is Earth Lunatic. The others will be Martian Dielectric Materialism, Martian Underpant and
Martian Snot. The opera electronica Inferno above is mainly Martian Snot, although it contains allusion to Underpant. Sick is both Martian Dielectric and Martian Snot.
20. Libretto for the Eurovision Song Contest I have noticed that Mistake is the most emotive of musical styles. I think this little song expressed in Mistake is for me deeply lovely.
21. Geriatric Gentleman A spoof.
22. The cock that expanded to the Great Wall and filled the cunt of the Great Void. This work is an exposition of Martian Dielectric Materialism and Martian Underpant. It contains
no Snot. It begins quietly with an exposition of vertex operator algebras to a backdrop of films of sexual processes in living things on Earth. Males and females with pink cylindrical bands
saying GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL and STRAIGHT (presumably mainly STRAIGHT) undress in front of the audience and proceed to mingle with them, stroke and caress them. They
withdraw to a simultaneous detailed exposition of the Kerr solution in general relativity and an account given by Dirac on quantum electrodynamics. They are in a hall where the sprinkler
system is in operation and it is lightly turned on, and after 12 seconds, off. Members of the audience are invited to the stage to play football. Simultaneously there is an announcement that
the hall may be escaped by a tunnel. The audience who try to escape are stroked on their bottoms and attempts are made to unbutton and unzip parts of their clothing. If there are not enough
members from the audience to play football, they are lovingly escorted by members of the pink team to the stage and told to strip off below their waists. Irrespective of whether this is done
or not, the game of football commences. Meanwhile there is a film of the exploration of the outer planes and their moons. The audience is subject to three bursts of the sprinkler system of
great coldness and increasing length. The game of football finishes with a short whistle burst, and the non pink players are told to put on their clothes, whilst a film of the galaxy and star
systems then appears in the background. A pink person selects a fake person from the audience and they go to an on-stage cubicle. The film sequence describing the physical characteristics
of the Great Wall and the Great Void begins. The auditorium dims and reveals that in the interior of the cubical the pair are having sex. The fire alarm goes off and someone suggests the
lights of the auditorium go on, and the audience proceeds out of the auditorium via the tunnel. The sprinkler system goes on with warm pleasant water which increases in pressure. The film
continues with a visual description of the Great Wall and the Great Void. The piece finishes when the audience has evacuated the hall.
There should be aftercare for this work. It can be a bit basic. People should be given returnable towels so they can dry themselves down. They should be given something basic to wear, and
although they might be a bit cold not be expected to die to death on the way home. They should be given a bag to put their wet clothes in.
23. Appentice Boys To celebrate the Appretice Boys Parade, especially for gay men including those who like beards and dressing in dark severe women's clothes and women who are
strongly attracted to men with a great physique.
24. The Armenian Genocide. Overall the music is jolly and quite normal apart from car door slams. It may express poignancy and depth, and ascends occasionally into rapture, or the
expression of musicality which is compelling, uplifting, including door slams, and dramatic. We think dance is about rhythm, and the music is designed with this as the central idea. It also
contains gunshot sounds, including machine gun fire, with accompanying films, including sheep being killed in an abattoir, people eating a non vegetarian breakfast, seals being killed, fish
catches being hauled out and whales being killed. The ballet has five Adolf Hitlers, who should be of vey similar height and build and be as realistically dressed as possible. Beneath their
costumes they have red underpants where at the back there is a white circle for each buttock each inscribed with a black swastika. They express themselves formally to great effect, although
there may be variations with dramatic intent. There are seven female Wehrmacht officers with machine guns. They are wearing bright red lipstick. Beneath their waists they are wearing
classical ballet attire. They should be classically trained and be able to express classical movements with precision. There are three Greek policemen (who wear white). They are acrobats
and should be able to leap into the air, perform somersaults and run about. The Pope - a tap dancer, is accurately dressed and has a crook, which he uses in his tap dancing routine. His
uniform terminates above the knee. He has black tap dancing shoes and black socks which go three quarters of the way up to the knee. Each sock has three white swastikas down one side.
There are five Muslim women wearing burkas, each pushing round an empty supermarket shopping trolley. They have white gloves so that no part of their anatomy is visible and they are
dressed from head to toe in black. They move their trolleys around slowly with very limited variability. There are a number of concentration camp inmates wearing pajamas who pass
around supermarket meat to the audience. The amazing athlectic dynamism of the Greek policemen is contrasted with the restricted movements of the women in burkas slowly pushing
around shopping trolleys. It is followed by a religious ceremony where a sheep is killed and prepared to be eaten.
25. Is there intelligent life on Earth? old, and wrong, joke
26. Message to all Daleks. text
27. No Time to Understand You. text
28. It is Me. text
29. Dust. text
30. Protection. text
31. My Love is Like a River. text