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Mid-Century Marfa (2013) by Anthony T. Marasco

for toy piano, Totem harp, Plastorgan, computer audio, and electric fans


Mid-Century Marfa won the grand prize for the 20_ UnCaged Piano Call for Scores. It was premiered in New York City by Phyllis Chen. Instructions on how to construct and amplify the Totem harp and Plastorgan required for this piece can be found online at the composers website


Performing Mid-Century Marfa ∇ Mid-Century Marfa alternates between moments of unmetered, aleotoric actions and strict, traditionally metered performance material. During the aforementioned aleotroic sections, liberty may be taken to minimally extend or shorten the time values expressed in the score in order to better facilitate performance. ∇ A total of four electric fans are needed for this performance: Plastorgan Bottle Group 1 should be powered by a large, stationary box fan, while Plastorgan Bottle Group 2 should be powered by a medium-sized oscillating table fan. The Aeolian harp should be powered by an additional box fan of similar size to the first, while the individual sections of strings (A, B, and C) are to be excited by a small, handheld, battery-powered fan with soft, flexible blades when notated in the score. ∇ Amplification and monitoring of the Aeolian harp and Plastorgan bottles is necessary. An audio engineer should be on hand for the performance, or, failing that, a mixer should be placed on stage near the performer. Small lapel microphones with wind shields can be placed carefully inside the slits of the Plastorgan bottles, while a condenser microphone of any diaphragm size (using a windshield) can be used to amplify the Aeolian harp. ∇ To match the amplified sound profiles of the Totem harp and the Plastorgan, the toy piano should also be amplified through any means possible. ∇ Passages placed inside of boxes are to be performed repetitively across the span of time designated. Performers should take short breaks between each performance. ∇ When performing feathered beam passages, you do not have to perform the exact number of notes that given, but you must fit the figure into the allotted number of beats, shown in the bracket above it.

i


The Homemade Instruments In addition to the toy piano, Mid-Century Marfa is scored for two unconventional, homemade instruments. The Plastorgan creates sound through the use of wind generated by electric fans. The Totem or “gutter” harp is performed in a similar fashion to most stringed instruments at certain points of the piece (plucking, pick scraping, etc.) These unconventional instruments can either be made by hand (with build instructions available from the composers website) or purchased from the composer. The Plastorgan The Plastorgan is a collection of plastic bottles of various sizes, shapes, and densities arranged into two groups. Vertical slits are carved into the sides of the bottles’ bodies, and each bottle is attached to a wooden dowel and placed on a wooden base. As wind rushes across the slit in each bottle, a deep, guttural howl is produced. Each bottle’s slit is carved to a different length/width to produce a variety of pitches in the high, middle, and low registers.

The Plastorgan: Bottle Group 1 (on the left) and Bottle Group 2 (on the right)

Bottle Group 1 close-up

Bottle Group 2 close-up

ii


The Totem Harp The Totem harp is a string instrument with three sets of string strung vertically across its body. For this piece, the Totem harp can be built with a wooden body or by using a rain gutter down spout as the body of the harp. Three sides of the harp’s body contain strings: sides A and B contain three to four strings each (three pitches, doubling the top three pitches), while side C contains three strings.

iii


For Phyllis Chen


Mid-Century Marfa

Score in C

Commissioned by Phyllis Chen

Bottle Group 1

Plastorgan

Partially cover the slits of any botles found in Bottle Group 1 at your own leisure

Turn fan on to MEDIUM speed

*

Plastorgan solo, ca. 8 seconds

ca. 15 seconds

ª

Keyboard

Toy Piano Body

[

Top Side Under

&

r b œ œ . œ œ œ b œ œ . 1 bœ œ œ ‰œ œ 3 j‰ J 4 Ó œ œ Œ b œ ‰ b œ J ˙ 4 œœ œ J Jœ œ œ J #˙ 3 3 f 4 ¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿ ¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿Œ ! ! 4 J J J J J J J 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 n. f The slightest touch of honky-tonk swing

A

q = 45 [ŒÂ

Using your knuckles, improvise percussive patterns on the notated areas of the piano body. Add short pauses between your patterns.

÷ ¿R ¿r ¿ ¿ f

ca. 10 seconds

= Πlj]

j œœ " ‰ œœ .. ˙˙˙ " b ˙ J

(let ring)

¿ ¿ ¿ R J f Increase fan to HIGH speed

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan

*

©2013

ca. 7 seconds


Mid-Century Marfa

2

Toy Piano Body

[

Top Side Under

= Πlj]

j œœ œ ! Ó ‰ b œœ œ bœ œ bœ œ ‰ œ & b œœ ‰ œœœ œ œ 3 Œ f J 3 j j ÷ ¿ ¿ ¿ ‰ Œ ¿ ¿ ¿ ‰ ‰ ¿ ¿ ¿ ‰ ¿J ¿ ¿ ¿ Œ Ó J J 3 3 3 3 f n.

6 Keyboard

q = 45 [ŒÂ

3

3

œ b œœ ..

Œ ‰ œœœœ œ œ œ œ b œ œ œœ ‰ bœ œ œ œœ œ œ ‰ Ó J ‰ œ JF 5:4 ¿ ¿ ! RÔ J ¿ f P 5:4

(let ring)

3

3 4

Improvise perc. patterns on the designated area. Add short pauses between your patterns.

3 4

ca. 10 seconds

Partially cover the slits of any botles found in Bottle Group 1 at your own leisure

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan ca. 7 seconds

ª

Toy Piano Body

œœ œœ œœ œ œœ J

3

3 j j ÷ 43 Œ ¿ ¿ Œ ¿ ¿ f 3

œœ œœ œœ bœ œ

slightly swung

Œ œ œ œ œ bœ œ. œ œ œ

3 &4 Œ

11 Keyboard

Heavily drag triplets q = 60

3

j j F Œ ¿ ¿ ‰

3

3

n.

h.

bœ œ bœ œ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ U‰ . r b œ œ j ‰ " b œ bœ J‰ œ œ ‰. R œœ ˙˙ b Œ œ œ bœ ƒ ƒ3 ! ! ! eratic outburst

rit.

U

!

(ca. 2 seconds)

!

œ # # œœ œœ œ # œ œ . "œœœœ J ‰ 44 Ó ‰ œ # œ œ œ ®" ƒ ¿ "‰ Œ Œ 44 " ¿ ¿ " Œ Ó R

C

Fluries of activity q = 90

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan

Pluck the designated string forcefully using your finger

Totem Harp

A: I

B: II


Mid-Century Marfa

19 Keyboard

Toy Piano Body

q.

œ # œ œ œ œ œ œ œJ ‰ œ œœ 5:4 F p ‰ ¿¿¿ ¿ Ó Œ ‰ ¿j ¿ ¿ " Œ F P drastic ral.

œœ œœ œœ œœ # œœ œœ ‰ Œ "

F ÷ Œ Œ

a tempo

!

Πq.

‰ ¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿

# œ œ œ . œ œ œ œ # œ # œ œœœ œœ œœœ

F Œ

œ œ œ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœ œ œœ J ‰ Œ " " ¿r ‰ f

Ó

Œ

Ó

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan

Totem Harp

A: III

B: I

ª A glitchy version of a Classical film score q = 100 (-110 at accel. moments)

œ œ œ œ œ 3 3 3 3 3 Œ Œ œ œ "œ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ # œœ # œœœ œœ œœœ œœ œœœ œœ œœœ œœ 3 œ 5 œ Œœ œ œ œ œ œ œ ‰ œ œ ‰# œ ‰ ‰œ œ œ‰ ‰ # œ ‰ ‰ œ Ó œ œ œ œ œ Œ œ œ Ó & #œœœœœ 4 #œ #œ J œ œ #œ J #œ 3 3 3 3 3 3 subito F p ƒ

24 Keyboard

Toy Piano

Bt. Grp. 1

3 j 3 > ‰ # # œœ œœ Ó ‰ ‰# # œœ # # œœ ‰ Ó Œ 42 œœ œ >> œœ œ > J ƒ ƒ F 3

3

Plastorgan

Totem Harp

~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~~ ~~~~

Using a large coin, scrape the designated strings simultaneously with mild-force, alternating directions

C: I & II

W

C: I & II

~ ~~~~ ~~~ ~~~~ W

3


Mid-Century Marfa

4

3 3 3 j #œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œœ œœ œœ # œœœ œœœ œœœ 3 # œ # œ œ # œ œ œ œ # œ œ œ # œ œ # œ œ # œ j # œ œ # œ œ œ œ 2 #œ 3 4 Œ " 45 ‰ # œ ‰ œJ ‰ R " 42 # œ # œ œ œ œ # œ œ œ # œ œ œ # œ " & 4 ‰ # # œœ # œ ‰ ‰ œ 4 8 > > œ # # œœ 3 3 F f ƒ ƒ P 2 Œ Body[ 4 ¿

Keyboard

Toy Piano

(q = 100)

3

30

accel.

Top Side Under

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Using a large coin, scrape the designated strings simultaneously with mild-force, moving from top to bottom

Totem Harp

C: II& III

W

ª

j " #œ #œ #œ œ ‰ & # œ ‰ # # œœ ‰ # œJ 3 a tempo

37 Keyboard

Toy Piano Body

÷

!

h.

Œ ‰ " # œr # œ # œ ‰ # œ œœ œœ œœ # œ œ # œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ œœ œœ # # œœ # œ # œ # œ œ # œ # œ # œ #œ #œ ‰ ‰ J # œ ‰ # # œœ # œ ‰ #œ #œ ‰ œ ‰ ‰ 3 3 J f 3 3 ! ! ‰ ¿j ‰ ¿j ! accel.

Decrease fan speed to MEDIUM

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan

*

#œ œ # œœ œœ œœ # œ 3

!

œœ œœ œœ 3 4 3

3 4


Mid-Century Marfa

œ #œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 2 3 œ &4 4

43 Keyboard

Toy Piano Body

3 3 3 j 3 # œœ œœ œœ # # œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ # œœ œœ œœ œ œ œ # œ œ œ œ # œ # ‰œ œ œ Œ œ œ œ # œ # # # œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œ œ œ œ œ œ ‰ # # # œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œ œ œ œ œ # œ œ œ œœ .. # œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ #œ # œ œ œ ‰ # œœ ‰ Œ 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 Ï Œ ‰ ¿ ‰ ¿ ‰¿ J J J

D

(q = 110)

3

3

3

÷ 43 ‰

2 4

A digital recording glitching into silence q = 120

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan

Play Cue 1

Computer Audio

1

ª

‰ ‰ œ #œ œ #œ #œ " ‰ œ œœœ. œ œ œ #œ œ œ nœ œ & œœ # œ . . œ # œœ .. ‰ R " ‰ # œJ J f

50 Keyboard

Toy Piano

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan

Computer Totem Audio Harp

3

3

3

3

3

œ # œ # œ œ # œ " œ œ n œ ‰œ # œœ .. " ‰ # œJ J 3

3

3

r œœ # œ # œ œ œ# œ ‰œ " œ # # # œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œ œ œ œ œ œ # # # œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ # œœ # œ œ ‰ 3 3 3 3 J 3 3 3 3 subito Ï 5:4

5


Mid-Century Marfa

6

r œœ # œ # œ œ œ# œ ‰œ " œ œ # œ "œ œ œ œ " œ œ # œœ # œ œ ‰ ‰ œ ‰ # œœ J J R

œ # œ # œ œ # œ " œ œ n œ ‰œ & # œœ .. " ‰ # œJ J f ÷ ! 3

3

5:4

3

56 Keyboard

Toy Piano Body

!

!

œ #œ ‰ " œ œ " # œœ """‰ " R ‰ " ¿R ‰ " ¿r

"" " "" " œ œ #œ œ œ œ #œ " œ œ œ ‰ " œ #œ " œ œ œ " œ œ #œ œ œ " œ #œ " œ œ œ " # œœ ‰ # œœ ‰ Œ Œ J J ¿ ‰ " " " " ¿ ‰ " " " r‰ Œ " ¿r ‰ Œ " ¿R ‰ " ¿ " ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ R R q = 70

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan

Totem Computer Harp Audio

ª

Keyboard

Toy Piano Body

*Gradually moving to the point of unpitched sound

& " œ #œ " œ ¬ ‰

65

÷ ¿R ‰

# ## " # # # ‰ # ## " # # # ‰

(i.e. key movement noise)

" ¿" ¿"

!

!

n.*

!

h

‰ ¿¿¿¿¿¿

‰ # ## " # # ## ‰ # # " # # ## ‰ ‰ Continue unpitched sound (i.e. key movement noise)

Œ ¿¿

Œ

‰ " ¿J " ‰

r ¿ "Œ

Œ

‰ # ## Œ h

¿ ¿ ¿¿¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ Increase fan to HIGH speed

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan

Totem Computer Harp Audio

*

# ## ‰ ‰

# ## ‰ ‰

Œ

" ¿R ¿R " ‰


Mid-Century Marfa

7

Partially cover the slits of any botles found in Bottle Group 1 at your own leisure

Bt. Grp. 1

ca. 8 seconds

Plastorgan Turn fan on to HIGH speed

Bt. Grp .2

*

Totem Computer Harp Audio

Plastorgan/Computer Audio solo, ca. 15 seconds

ª

E 75 Keyboard

Toy Piano

Dust Bowl Lullaby q = 60 (soloistic rubato)

3 &4

# # ˙˙ F

Œ

˙ #˙

Œ

U

!

(ca. 2 seconds)

Œ " Œ Œ " 4 3 œ œ 4 ˙ œœ œ 4 Ó #˙ œ Œ #˙ #˙ F

U

!

(ca. 2 seconds)

j Œ #œ. #œ Œ Œ #œ #œ œ. 3 j‰ 4 Œ œ 4 5 œ œ # œ œ # œ œ œ œ 4 ‰ #œ œ 4 œ œ 4 ˙ œ. œ. 4 " Ó " Ó Œ # œ œ Ó œ œ œ œ #˙ #˙ J J f

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan Fan: Start OSCILATION

Bt. Grp .2

Computer Totem Audio Harp

*


Mid-Century Marfa

8

j‰ ‰ #œ œ œ Œ ‰ # œœ # œ œ œ # œ " # œœ œœ œœ œ œ œ Œ ‰ ‰ Œ j # œ # œ œ œ # œ # œ œ œ # œ œj ‰ œ 2 œ Œ " 3 œœ # œ 2 œ œ #œ œ œ œ ‰" 5 œ œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ ‰ 3 j " 4 œ # œ œ œ Œ œ œ 4 œ. #œ œ œ &4 œ #œ 4 4 #œ 4 #œ œœ œœ œœ 4 ‰ œœ œœ œœ Ó œ Œ ‰ Œ Œ ‰ œ #œ œ Œ Ó Œ ‰ œœ œœ #œ F J J 3 3 ƒ F 3 3 f 3 3

5:4

3

3

3

84 Keyboard

Toy Piano

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan Bt. Grp .2

Totem Computer Harp Audio ª

& #œ. F

91 Keyboard

Toy Piano

j œ œ œ .

œ #œ

Ÿ~~~~~~~~ œ w œ œ " 3 5 # œ ‰ 4 . J J ‰ 4 Œ Œ Ó 3 S very slow

fast

Bt. Grp. 1

Ÿ~~~~~~~~~~ j œ œ. ® œ j " œ w #œ "3 Œ Œ 5 Ó. ‰ # œœœ 42 œœ ‰ 4 4 œ Œ Œ J #œ S J F very slow

Plastorgan Bt. Grp .2

*

Totem Harp [Computer Audio Continues]

Using a small elec. fan with exposed blades, excite the designated strings by holding the moving blades against them

A: I-III

w. + Q

*

B: I-III

w. + Q

fast

drastic ral.

j j " œ # œ œ . ®" # œ 3 ‰# œœ 42 # œœœ ‰ 4 œ Œ Œ œ J FJ


Mid-Century Marfa

œœ œ œœ œœ # œœœ gg # œœœ gg # œœœ # # œœœ œœ œœ ral. 100 œ # # œ œ œ œ œ œ ‰ #œ g gg 3 # œœ œœ œ gg œ ggg # œ œœ œ Toy Piano & 4 # œ J œ #œ œ œœ œ #œ 3 #œ 3 ƒ F

q = 50 (soloistic rubato) accel.

a tempo

a tempo

accel.

Keyboard

œ j "‰ # œ œ œ œ œ # œ œ œ # œ œ œ œ œ # œ ®" 44 ‰ # œœ ## œœœ œœœ ‰ œœ # œœ # œœ œœ # J 3 3 3 F f 3 3

accel.

a tempo

3

3

ral.

U 3 24 # œœ Œ 4 P (ca. 1 second)

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan Bt. Grp .2

Totem Harp

*

*

C: I-III

H + E.

C: I-III

H + E.

*

C: I-III

H. + E

*

C: I-III

w +H

ª 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 j j . . œ œ œ œ j j . . # œ # œ j j g g œ œ œ œ 107 . . " " Œ Œ Œ œ Œ Œ Œ œ 3 3 g g #œ #œ 2 œ #œ #œ 2 œ #œ #œ 3 ‰" # œ ‰"43 Œ œ # œ œ œ œ ‰" # œ ‰"43 # œœ œ œ " # œœ œ œ " Œ Œ" Œ Œ" Toy Piano & 4 Œ œ # œ œ œ œ 4 4 œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ ‰ # œœ ‰ # œœ ‰ œœ ‰ # œœ ‰ # œœ ‰ œœ # œœœœ # œœœ # œ # 3 3 ƒ ƒ F F f 3 3 3 f 3 3 3 ƒ F

q = 45

3

Keyboard

Bt. Grp. 1

Plastorgan Bt. Grp .2

Totem Harp

*

B: I-III

w +E

* A: I-III

w +E

9


ca. 15 seconds

10 Keyboard

Toy Piano

Body

Mid-Century Marfa

Improvise patterns of unpitched key movement noise. Add short pauses between your patterns.

[

Under Top Side

Bt. Grp. 1

& œœ # # œœœ p

÷ ¿R ¿ ¿ Ô J F

" # # ## ‰ # # Œ n.

Improvise perc. patterns on the designated area. Add short pauses between your patterns.

ca. 10 seconds Turn fan OFF

Decrease fan speed to MEDIUM

*

*

Plastorgan

Bt. Grp .2

*

Totem Computer Harp Audio

[Computer Audio ends]

Section lasts ca. 40 seconds

Allow bottles to sound twice, then turn fan OFF


Mid-Century Marfa