Published by
Project 440

Matt Marks

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"Dear Mrs. Budd" from The Adventures of Albert Fish

Jeffrey Gavett - Voice, Andie Springer – Violin, John Pickford Richards – Viola, Kevin MacFarland – Cello, 
Eileen Mack – Clarinet, 
Timo Andres – Piano

Performed by Jeffrey Gavett - Voice, Andie Springer – Violin, John Pickford Richards – Viola, Kevin MacFarland – Cello,  Eileen Mack – Clarinet, Timo Andres – Piano.

The Adventures of Albert Fish is a song cycle based on letters and writings of the infamous 1920s serial killer Albert H. Fish. The text of Dear Mrs. Budd is taken verbatim from a letter written to the mother of one of his young victims. In spite of the horrific action described in the text, the piece is merely an exercise in propaganda: rather than commenting on or criticizing the text, the musical accompaniment exists in single-minded service to the text and attempts to reflect the mind state of the author, Albert Fish.        

At times cold, fearful, manic, jubilant, and touching, the piece contains moments of stark post-rock textures, Schumannian scherzo, and rock power ballad, often all in the span of a couple minutes. The vocal part in particular shifts between operatic, musical theater, and rock styles throughout the piece. The result is a funny and terrifying post-genre work of horror for chamber ensemble. The recording is from a Music With a View concert at The Flea Theater on February 17, 2010. 

 

Jeffrey Gavett - Voice, Andie Springer – Violin, John Pickford Richards – Viola, Kevin MacFarland – Cello, 
Eileen Mack – Clarinet, 
Timo Andres – Piano

High Fructose

Performed by Yuki Numata – Violin, Joshua Roman – Cello, Bill Kalinkos – Clarinet, Jason Treuting – Drum Set and Glockenspiel.

High Fructose was composed around the time I began to make peace with my tendency to write sentimental music, and I began to reconcile that inclination with my desire to emotionally manipulate listeners. The title arose from a desire for a musical term that would essentially describe dolce taken to its violent extreme. The piece balances rather tenuously between measured tonal and rhythmic progressions and an inexorable descent into teeth-rotting hypersentimentality.

The drum set part is sourced entirely from classic hip hop breaks and written in the style of chopped breakbeats à la 90s drum ’n’ bass and IDM (or intelligent dance music). The melodic and harmonic figures are predominantly ones I initially rejected because I feared listeners would think they were too sentimental. High Fructose had its world premiere on June 25th, 2009 in Seattle, Washington in the TownMusic series at Town Hall. The recording is from that world premiere performance.