(2015) for mezzo soprano, guitarist, and laptop
text by Timothy Otte
Commissioned by the dream songs project
When FEATHERMUCKER premiered in January 2016, Twin Cities audiences immediately praised it as “brilliant!,” “an amazing experience to witness,” and “a work of incredible depth.”
Over the work’s 50 minute duration, Timothy Otte’s text sets a crumbled, post-apocalyptic world in which he describes the creative process of making idiosyncratic meaning where objective meaning cannot be found. Musically, FEATHERMUCKER is a combination of folk, experimental, and electronic music; cinematic sound fx; and sound art installation. The varied genres represented in FEATHERMUCKER mimic the varied tones and forms in the poetry. The musical and textual themes are constantly being recast in new contexts, forcing a listener to be constantly revising one’s understanding of the material, much like our constant recalibration to the varying messages and contextualizations in contemporary society. Using a programming language called SuperCollider, Moore processes the soprano and guitar in real time to create a third character in the drama of the performance. The middle section of the work features a solo for feeding-back guitar, which, through live processing, gives a sound often considered harsh a rebirth into something beautiful.
This commission was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.