HomeJournalMusicDownloadsShowsFacebook artist pagetwitter feed


Notes on "SpeakEasy"

"from the people who brought you English"

SpeakEasy was written by me and by Gary Marcuse, the cousin of Judith Marcuse, who choreographed it on Dennis Wayne's Dancers in New York, and later set it on the National Ballet of Canada. This was the fourth piece I worked on for Judy. She was very busy in this period (1976-77), travelling and choreographing - we did a lot in a year.

It's all about language, which is where Gary came in. He's wonderful with words, and we had a great time creating the fractured / coherent words that go behind this piece. 

The piece was created entirely with voices, and there were some great ones. The University of British Columbia Chamber Singers, conducted by Cortland Hultberg sang fabulously, at times becoming a madrigal group, a 19th century romantic chorus, and the various parts of a country band, including bass, drums, and pedal steel guitar.  Hans Staymer, the blues singer, sang the solos for the "songs", including my favourite, E-P-I-S-T-E-M-O-L-O-G-Y, our answer to Tammy Wynette.  The Chamber Singers also did the madrigal at the end and the "Vanderbilt Gavotte". The amazing announcer for the final commercial was Christopher Newton.

Sadly, my master tape for this piece is not in great shape, but I hope to re-assemble it from the constituent parts.

In the meantime, here are two excerpts:

Vanderbilt Gavotte