Death's thin melody too... by Paul Rudy published on 2012/05/07 18:08:42 +0000 For Large or Medium Wind Ensemble Fixed Media, Horn Solo and Melodica (or Accordion), and guided improvisation Dedicated to all those who have lost a loved one without a chance to say goodbye. Death’s thin melody too…is a set of variations that began with the sound of a squeaky escalator in Arezzo, Italy. The sound itself seemed to be reminiscing about the days when a lone monk wandered the hillside dreaming of a way to help people remember melodies. There is a hidden simple chord progression in this squeak, and yet, there are tones that rise beyond that simple progression into a harmonious other world: they belong, even if they do not fit. Death’s thin melody too…returns to Arezzo, in the footsteps of Guido of Monaco, and invites musicians to let go of notation and return to using their ears as a primary instrument for music-making. This work asks something different of the musicians: that they make music in community using all of the skills they have developed on their instruments, but guided by their unique sensitivities of each person as a listener. Death’s thin melody first appeared as “Up/Down” in a Kansas City multi-media dance production called WE! (Jane Gotch and Mark Southerland, Spring, 2012), and as part of my epic series called 2012 Stories in live performance and appearing in forthcoming CD No. 7, Chanes. This version invites other instrumentalists to perform along with the haunting, simple tune that I originally improvised along with Arezzo’s escalators. Death’s thin melody too… was commissioned by Joseph Parisi for the UMKC Wind Ensemble.