Posts Tagged ‘david t. little’

David T. Little & Corey Dargel – May 23rd, 09

Monday, June 1st, 2009

It was actually Thursday night when I offered my admission to the last 80’s beatnik in NYC and made my way past the largest velvet drape since King Richard’s funeral, which partitions the Victorian couch laden performance space at the Gershwin Hotel, from its much noisier counterpart, the lobby.


The bill was one in a series of stylistic battles of locale brought on by the fantastic ensemble Transit.  “New York versus Puerto Rico”…apple-pineapple martini in a coconut?


Intoxicating indeed,  the program worked well to highlight the New York premiere of David T. Little’s Sunday Morning Trepanation.  The work began as a general eerie ethereal lullaby deep in its likeness with so many anonymous horror scores at age 9, and with uncanny timing (aka, as soon as everyone was feeling the deep velvet) detonated an a-bomb of asymmetric rhythms inspired by what must have been the cosmic wake of Stravinsky’s Parisian riots.  Absolutely worth listening to on repeat whenever an AT&T service agent cannot find a manager.  In this case trepanation combs a course in which alienation becomes the station of the migration of a nation for which penetration always goes without Vaseline.  Dont believe me?  Look it up on wikipedia.  All of that, and the composer himself was where at the NYC premiere?…Answer:  Rehearsing for the performance which is part 2 of this blog:


So much had happened in the first half of the concert, its hard to believe how much of it was simply wiped away by the second.  I vaguely recall Mario Diaz de Leon’s feverish screaming at the hands of 2 fine alto flautist, percussion and electronics in enter houses of.  Then Baltimore/Berlin by Steve Lehman conjured unhad reminisces on the grittier streets of Leipzig, with an interesting fusion/juxtaposition of jazz elements and baroque pasacaglia style dominantly filled by fast shifting chromatic tritone harmonies.  Finally Nathan Davis’ Like sweet bells jangled, offered a transparent transformational structure which seem to tell the story of an incredibly hard lesson half learned.


All of the works were world premieres, fantastic performances, academic and dominantly pessimistic if not justifiable in more  concrete terms of subjective astheticism.  But to be put in the mood these composers created was priceless for the sheer contrast which was to follow.


Thirteen Near-Death Experiences by Corey Dargel is a poetic invention which surpasses reality.  As we all know the composer/singer/actor/writer has become quite common in our culture……………………………………………………..Ok, well………….Right.



So what exactly has this Corey Dargel done????  I cannot vouch for the order of these steps.  Alright, firstly hes created a concept – hypochondria.  He then created a series of poems which describe a few of the potential positions one might take in becoming or maybe trying to become ill.   He then creates musical accompaniments to what must have been melodic treatments of the poetry, and sets them to simple modal and tonal harmonies.  At some point he decides that there should be an interactive element and begins posting mock-ups at his blogsite so that fans may contribute ideas.  Whats that you say???  Right.  What he ends up getting rhythmically is a text setting which is very phrase driven. Resty.  Often hard counting,  I dare say volatile!  But because Dargel’s intention seems to be most driven by the natural rhythm of English speech itself, complex poly-rhythms and notes of added values become completely intuitive.  Ok, where was I.  Right, then he creates what seemed to be 3 personas, which would represent all 13 of the hypochondriac scenarios.  Each different character coming with a slight change in costume, movement and expression (not to mention poetic content.)  If you aren’t completely confused you simply haven’t heard enough stories about artists having themselves shot, or locking themselves on roofs with hungry wolves.  But really, if this doesn’t seem intriguing its only because I haven’t told you, the poetry itself is hysterical!  I couldn’t be more sure that originality is alive and well!  Corey has practically created an impossibly elite genre.  The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) which performed this work were as unified and purposefull as the content was original!

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