My Bowed Piano Moment

Thunder, Perfect Mind (score)

TMP_thumbIt was 1984, and Mr. Jackson (requiescat in pace) was selling 28 million records and enthralling the world. Me? I was working on a completely unperformable and mostly forgettable chamber opera (sound chaser/soul chaser), which at least had one shiny moment: the final part, a nine-minute piece for 15 performers bowing 3 grand pianos in Thunder, Perfect Mind.

Sure, the technique had been around since Curtis Curtis-Smith, and Stephen Scott had recently resurrected the idea and formed an ensemble around it. So, I joined in the fray with this work. The score is above, and here’s an mp3 of the performance, (from the only live performance of the chamber opera, at University of Wisconsin, February 14, 1986) and an ancient newspaper article. Excerpts from the video are on the Bad Mind Time™ Ultra DVD. And, amazingly, that excerpt will be included in the 2009 Brainwash Film Festival (July 31- Aug. 1, Oakland, CA).

And the title? The most fantastic title there ever has been, but it’s not mine, originally. It’s from a 3rd century Coptic poem by the same name, a litany of contradictory attributes spoken by a female diety (this from the Nag Hamadi Codex).


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