David First @ Roulette, Brooklyn

Date: October 16, 2022
Time: 8:00 pm

David First and Musicians

Sunday, October 16, 2022 // 8:00 pm
$25 advance // $30 doors // $20 Student/Senior (door only w/ ID, Senior 65+)
doors 7pm

David First says that his new composition, Girders, is inspired by the work he’s long considered to be a central allegory for his life’s improvisatory path—the 1934 Popeye Theater cartoon entitled “A Dream Walking.” In the cartoon, Olive Oyl is seen sleepwalking through a construction site high above the city. At a crucial moment, just as she’s about to fall many stories to the pavement below, she steps onto a passing girder fortuitously swinging by. When she reaches the end of that girder, another comes along. This happens repeatedly until, finally, the girders miraculously transport her back safely to the open window where her unconscious adventure began.

As a way of tapping into, and possibly even celebrating, the tenuousness of life, players in this work for mixed ensemble and electronics are requested—like Oyl’s girders—to pass around various types of musical materials that will form a seamless and meaningful topography through the connective tissue of their co-operative efforts. Material sources range from the fixed 12-equal temperaments of piano, oboe, and marimba, the digital precision of laptop triggered just intonation drones and related polyrhythms, to the edge-dancing air of saxophone multiphonics, and barely controllable vintage analog test equipment broadcasting to transistor radios. Trombone and electric guitar—two instruments that are capable of plot points pretty much anywhere on that vibrational spectrum, can, in this case, be seen as the bridge between these extremes.

“Throughout the more than four decades of his career, [First] has jumped adroitly between styles and scenes, while reinvigorating those scenes from the inside.” —The New York Times

David First: high frequency signal generators, transistor radios, all digital audio and video programming
Katie Scheele: oboe, English horn
Erin Rogers: tenor saxophone
Sam Kulik: trombone
Tania Caroline Chen: piano
Danny Tunick: marimba
Ian Douglas-Moore: electric guitar
Posted on September 20, 2022 by erin

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