There is a Bluebird in My Heart
21st century produced art-song
picture by Kate's Photography NYC
Originally scored for voice and piano, these 5 Bukowski settings take on this modern poet with a musical language that is unmistakably contemporary, while also alluding to the jazz that was coming up while he was writing and the great German composers he admired.
In early 2016, as I was preparing these pieces for recording, I wanted to see what would happen if I applied contemporary production techniques to them. This experiment led to a new version of the piece, the so-called 'dressed' version. In this iteration, the vocal and piano parts are preserved, keeping the modern harmonic, rhythmic and melodic language, but they are augmented by samples, found sound, additional instruments and a healthy dose of audio processing. The music opens up in new and unexpected ways, the voice and instruments become characters that move around the stereo field, change color and shade and interact in myriad ways. The result is a unique blend of aesthetics, drawing on the timbral world of pop production from late Beatles through Bowie to Frank Ocean, and bringing out layers in the music that are impossible to underscore in traditional performance.
The piece is presented in both versions. The 'naked' version features the vocal performance of Augusta Caso with the piano accompaniment, while the 'dressed' version blends in the production elements.