Go Down! You Blood Red Roses
for percussionist and electronic sound
by Jacob Richman
performed by Fred Kennedy
(later performance by Bill Solomon: vimeo.com/24597684)
Oct 26, 2010 at Grant Recital Hall, Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
This piece was inspired by a folk song of the same name, as well as my recent relocation to Rhode Island, the Ocean State. The original song was a "halyard shanty" which is a working song used when hoisting the heavy topsails of an old tall ship. I am fascinated by both the coordination and fleet-footedness needed to control large sail ships as well as the combined feelings of excitement, fear and peace experienced when being on the water, pushed along only by the wind and currents. This piece presents and explores a character, played by the performer, who both creates and controls the sea he or she travels by. It is of course a fantasy.
-Percussionist plays four instruments at the corners of the stage. Their signals are recorded, processed and panned to create a rolling sea soundscape that becomes progressively complex with each addition
-A video camera tracks the performer's position, which controls the panning of the seascape and other aspects of the sound.
-As the percussionist plays, sound picked up from the mic on the talking drum affects other aspects of the electronic audio (storm noises, ghostly echoes) as the piece continues.