the black page tropes - .the black page tropes drums percussion interactive computer system bruce

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  • The Black Page Tropes

    DrumsPercussionInteractive Computer System

    Bruce PennycookExcerpts by Frank Zappa

    Dedicated to the memory of Frank Zappa and everything hedid and did not stand for.

    Composed for ACREQ with special thanks to Alain Thibault.

    Duration: ca. 21 minutes

    SOCAN 1996

  • The Black Page TropesPercussionMarimbaVibraphoneHi-hat, 3 suspended cymbalsSnare, 3 mounted tom-tomsmetal and wooden chimesmedium tam-tamRoland Octapad and MIDI drum sample device (tuned to 8 tom-toms, low-high)

    DrumsDrum kit (5 toms, snare, bass, 4-5 cymbals, hi-hat, etc.)Metal and glass chimesRoland Octapad (or any MIDI drum surfaces to use as triggers)

    Computer SystemMacPPC, CD Rom (for audio CD)MIDI Drum Module (for percussionists Octapad)Roland JV1080 Tone Module (for band clips)Max 3.5 software (or higher)Black Page Tropes Software (B. Pennycook)Black Page Tropes Audio CD (B. Pennycook)Black Page Tropes JV1080 Bank (B. Pennycook)

    Audio SystemMulti-mic setup for drum kit and percussionMixer with 2 separate monitor mix feeds (for stage)8 line inputs (from Computer system and devices)Digital reverb (to balance hall and instruments only)

    MIDIPercussion Octapad -- Midi Drum Module (direct, no computer)Drum Octapad -- MIDI In to Macintosh (triggers)MIDI Out from Mac -- Roland JV1080

    Bruce Pennycook1996

  • The Black Page Tropes

    This work was inspired by the percussion playing of Julien Grgoire anddrumming of Blair McKay during our many concerts performing the worksof Frank Zappa. The group, Dangerous Kitchen, was a joint production o fACREQ (Montreal) and Arraymusic (Toronto). Arrangements were byWalter Boudreau (Artisitic Director, SMCQ) and and Alain Thibault(Artisitic Director, ACREQ) and Henry Kucharzyk, one of the founders o fArraymusic. As musical director of The Dangerous Kitchen, WalterBoudreau brought immense musical insight and energy to thearrangements and adaptations of the music of Zappa. Boudreau trulyunderstood the music and produced a powerful two-act show.

    The Black Page is a Zappa work that exists in two versions; one for drumsolo (the most famous) and one for large rock band. Our show includedboth and they were often the highlight of the evening. It seemed thatevery audience had about 100 drummers that knew every single flam!

    As the soprano sax player in The Dangerous Kitchen, I was reunited withmy own formative years having attended numerous live Zappa concertsand knowing by heart far too many of the lyrics (and flams). As a youngcomposer and jazz saxophone player the music of Zappa was both aninspiration and a worry. How could a serious musician do Zappa?

    Sadly, Frank Zappa died on December 4, 1993 just as the DangerousKitchen was getting going.

    This piece is my homage to a brilliant American composer whosoriginality and unique personality could produce great rock like ZombieWoof and an elegant orchestral work commissioned by (his worship)Pierre Boulez at IRCAM. It is predicated entirely on the two versions o fThe Black Page and uses more than 100 different audio clips from ZappaCDs made over more than 25 years as a kind of audio retrospective.

    Bruce Pennycook1996

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