Five (and-a-half) Gardens

composed for So Percussion and Trollstilt 
2005-7  ⤥  55′

… is an hour-long performance piece combining animated paintings, spoken word, and electronic chamber music performed by the groups Trollstilt and So Percussion. 

The animated paintings, by Judy Trueman, are framed by a whimsical creative filter where older works of art (pieces by Matisse, Agnes Martin, and others) are re-imagined as gardens, and then abstractly painted and animated. 

Music by Dan Trueman is performed with a “garden of instruments,” including amplified tubes (the eToobs, reaching 10 feet in length!), terracotta pots, buckets of water, toy pianos, and a big blue wheelbarrow. A laptop is used to process these instruments and “paint” unusual sonic textures on a set of hemispherical speakers distributed throughout the ensemble. 

Poems by Jennifer Trueman, inspired by the writings and quotations of these same artists, emerge from the “garden” as well, performed by J. Trueman and Rinde Eckert. 

The video included here includes only the animation; the piece proper is a live performance piece, and seeing So Percussion perform with the various instruments is central to the experience. 

Originally, Dan played both Hardanger fiddle and 6-string electric violin in this piece, but re-arranging for other forces (to go with Monica’s guitar part, or an expansion/re-arrangement of her part as well) would be possible and interesting. 

The most unusual part of the percussion instrumentation is the eToobs (tuned plastic tubes with small embedded mics), which take a bit of work to get going, but are gloriously fun and beautiful, well worth the effort. Some are struck (track 1), others used like stamping tubes (~10:30 in track 8) and yet others for tuned feedback (track 9, elsewhere). 

Score and Performance Materials

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materials are ©2007 Many Arrows Music, All Rights Reserved
Performance Rights licensed by ASCAP
for Synch and Mechanical licensing information: email.

(movements can be performed individually)