So I composed some music. You may remember, I asked people here for recordings of them reading their receipts in various languages. It was a composition for soprano, recorded voices and theremin. And cash register. The English title is The Cashier’s Ascension. It is about a cashier who goes to heaven.
The people who organize the composition workshop at the local music school are my heroes. They work hard and, more importantly, accomplish a lot. Imagine how cool it is for kids to have composition demystified, and have their compositions taken seriously and performed no matter what.
The workshop has been going for about five years now, and a selection of compositions from that period were played at the Klangturm in St. Pölten last week. Compositions, I gather it’s a big deal if your composition gets performed more than once. And here we were getting performed for the second time!
The Klangturm also has a facebook page here. And there are photos of the concert here. The one of the guy with the theremin, that’s me. The woman next to me is the soprano who sang for me, and the woman in the yellow jacket is the heroic organizer, Cordula B. (After the concert, she performed with Wolfgang F. who played two turntables, while she played a flute with microphones attached inside and out. It was really fantastic.)
(I generally don’t list people’s names on my blog in case they don’t want to be associated with it, is the thing, google searches and all).
Anyway, so I really did this. I wasn’t just making it up. I still have to check whether a recording was made. It didn’t look like it, though.
I almost didn’t get to play, I was supposed to go to Slovenia on business again.
But then I got to go after all. And I found the place, and we played and I didn’t get tangled up in all my cords and cables. I had two effects pedals (chorus and reverb), and they had power cables as did the theremin, mixer and speaker, etc.
The singer has a really nice voice. She’s quite good. I’m always surprised when she agrees to sing with me.
The piece starts out with cash register peeping (recording) and voices reading receipts in various languages. Most prominent at the beginning is Muireann reading in Irish, and novala in German. And several English voices. And then a big mix of everyone.
And then the recording stops, and it’s just theremin and soprano, going to heaven after suffering and dying. Now and then some weird clicking sounds that result from attenuating a recording of less than one second of a Danish singer saying the “T” sound out to several minutes.
In the beginning, we just stand there for 2 minutes while the recording plays. The audience doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Then, at the end, they’re not sure it’s over. That’s kind of neat.
Then, after the concert, kids come up and ask about the theremin. I feel like Johnny Appleseed Thereminseed. They ask how it works and I say it was invented by accident in 1920 when Lev Theremin tried to make a burglar alarm, and I try to explain about radio waves and antennae and more or less resist saying stuff like, “Well I don’t know how Lydia Kavina does it, I just wave my hands and noise comes out.”
So, anyway. That was that.