How to be a Deep Thinker in Los Angeles
June 18, 2009 by Tyler Niemeyer at the Cohen Family Studio Theater at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati, OH.
*Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Wood blocks, Small & Medium Clay pots, Small and Medium Suspended cymbals, Small Tam-tam, Triangle
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At the beginning of 2009, I wanted to write a solo percussion piece, and to ease my way into it, I decided to use spoken text. Kendall A. wrote a sestina called “How to be a Deep Thinker in Los Angeles,” and with permission I was able to use it.
A sestina is a highly-structured poem form consisting of six six-lined stanzas followed by a tercet for a total of thirty-nine lines. The same set of six words ends the lines of each of the six-line stanzas, but in a different order each time. These six words then appear in the tercet as well.
This structure creates a cyclical poem, and therefore, the poem creates a cyclical piece. Each percussion instrument is specifically used to match certain events in the poem, and the listener can track the rotations.