‘Sketches of an Intergalactic Earworm’ is a suite in seven movements for piano trio and boombox.
It was written for The New Zealand Chamber Soloists (Katherine Austin, Lara Hall and James Tennant) and was premiered on the 19th September 2013.
During the early stages of writing this piece I got together with my frequent collaborator and video master Dan Inglis to discuss the possibilities of making a video for this piece. We talked about the influences in the music of Funk, Psychdelica, Fusion etc… and discussed how this could be incorporated into a video version. The idea slowly developed that the video would be some kind of mix between concert video, music video and experimental film.
‘Sketches of an Intergalactic Earworm’ is the final piece written for my PhD. It is my attempt to bring some of the psychedelic funk and fusion music of the late 60s/70s and Early 80s into contact with the more traditional ‘classical’ setting of the piano trio. It aims to bring together the grooves and vibes of this powerful rhythmic funk and combine it with the precision and un-compromising technique of contemporary classical music.
The piece works in a sort of palindrome where movement four serves as a centre point and the movements around it are in some way related to each other: 1&7, 2&6, 3&5. This is not necessarily reflected in length, but in compositional approach, idea and groove.
Movement 1: Take ’em to the bridge
Movement 2: MnmlFnk
Movement 3: Lonely cruise down afro highway
Movement 4: Searching for The Promised Land
Movement 5: Rockmelon Drive
Movement 6: Directly from the mothership
Movement 7: Until the cape man appears
Lyrics feature in Movement 2, 4 and 6.
Movement 2 quotes lyrics from ‘Planet Rock’ by Afrika Bambaataa
Movement 4 features an original poem by Scott Granville
Movement 6 quotes the chant from ‘P.Funk (wants to get funked up)’ by the Parliaments
(1&7 feature more grunts and vocal snippets)
Recorded at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Waikato on the 10th October 2013.
Video by Dan Inglis
Music by Jeremy Mayall