Dance of Disillusionment and Despair

Composed by John Chittum
for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, Percussion, and Voice

Recording from the CUNY New Music Festival, May 2011

Featuring members of the Curiosity Cabinet
Whitney George, Conducting (
Sarah Fox, Soprano

Song cycle with 14 short movements. Jacob Garbe wrote a short Twitter-style novella composer of 10 chapters and a prologue. Additional "intermezzos" were added to flesh out a few ideas. Each movement is distinct in style, trying to capture the many moods of the lyrics.

I provided the lyrics, which were actually a series of Tweets:

Cut and re-twine, stitch with a weather eye. Bring the pillars close. Keep ear cocked. Pull strong until the dance becomes apparent.

Lorentz's curved hand being what it is, keep your eyes hooded against the flickersly light. Pull the lines. Ignore the fermenting scream.

It will get harder, as the connections shorten. To eat that disassociation and shit out pretty patterns. Our hands will grow rough with use.

Their screams will deafen us before the end. Shrieks of discomfiture, climbing an exponential curve. Let the threads cut the stone to flesh.

O carved stone given voice! Your proximity heats our flesh to boiling pitch! Sing on! Your blood will be woven into bindings even tighter.

Some say move from the middle, and leverage our strength to pull together. Amateurs. Poseurs. You stick to the center. Become the mass.

Though we cast the net we are the ones snared by body. An ever-constricting ritual circle of sound and fury. The voice and calamitous light.

Culmination: a white hot noise. Hands thread stone flesh fire and light. Understanding is breached as the distance is terminally bridged.

Beyond catharsis, we are devoured by our consumption. We are Pygmalion, chthonic and en-gorgoned, ripe with the seeds of our passing.

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