June 2009 Music for Falling from Trees Erased Tapes eratp15 (cd, download)
Part 1: An Introduction to the Patient
Part 2: Patient Observation
Part 3: Pill Induced Slumber
Part 4: The Dream
Part 5: Awaken/Panic/Restraint
Part 6: Electroconvulsive Shock
Part 7: The Path to Recovery
In late 2008, Adrienne Hart contacted me about scoring her new work, FALLING FROM TREES. In Adrienne's words, "The piece is set in a psychiatric hospital and centered around one man's struggle to retain his identity in the most extreme of circumstances." There are four dancers in the piece. One male playing the patient, and three female hospital workers.
I had been making music for a variety of film projects, but the thought of scoring a dance was very exciting to me. I was on tour at the time, so wasn't able to start writing the music until I had a break in early January. The dance premiered on January 21st, so I had about three weeks to create the score. I camped out up in the top of my father's barn with some minimal recording equipment, my violin and viola, and an old broken piano.
Given the time constraints, I approached the music in a very open way. Rather than sit down and try to compose something, I just set up a microphone and started playing. After coming up with a couple of themes on the piano, I started recording, using those small themes and improvising around them. Most of the sections have a small core that is composed, and then the rest is improvised. Luckily for me this method seemed to work. I would work all day and then send a sketch over to Adrienne, and every time her response was positive. So in this way we worked very well together. I give my hugest thanks to Adrienne for trusting me to create the music for her wonderful work.
Adrienne told me from the beginning she was looking for a score of piano and strings. So I decided to take this literally and make a rule not to use any other instruments. In the script it called for the sound of a ticking clock. I made this sound by tapping on the body of the violin with my fingernails. The sound of an electric shock given to the patient is depicted by a quick, distorted piano chord. And all other droning and bass tones were made by extending and processing violin and/or piano tones, etc. Thank you very much for listening.
-Peter Broderick, March 2009
All music written, performed and recorded by Peter Broderick.
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