Doug Opel



for speaker, b-fl cl, hp, pno, 2 perc, cb

Written: 1996
Duration: 18:30
Instrumentation: speaker, b-fl cl, hp, pno, 2 perc, cb
Premiere: Januar 29th, 1999

Program Notes

Couched in a chamber ensemble of diverse instruments and a single, male voice are six poems I selected from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s collection, A Coney Island of the Mind. The use of occasionally exotic percussion and various extended performance techniques combine wth allusions to jazz, classical and contemporary music to represent the dark, amusing and at times, racy style of the beat literary movement. The text is spoken rather than sung to ensure clarity and to magnify a sense of give and take between voice and ensemble, as if the music is responding to the speaker and vice versa. For flow and form, music gestures introduce, conclude and transition between each poem to create the effect of a single movement work.