imagination dead imagine
text by Samuel Beckett - music by Michael Roth
music/theatre chamber piece for recorded voices, laptop, and string quartet
For more details about the piece, click here.
For the complete Beckett text, click here.
For the complete score, click here.
For further information, please contact the composer.
Samuel Beckett gave me permission to set his IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE - the result is a music/theatre piece wherein a string quartet listens to voices on a laptop and responds.
followed by the LA premiere at the Broad Stage in July
and a return engagement in Pasadena - May, 2018 -and then the
EUROPEAN PREMIERE IN PRAGUE - SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
Below are four demo slideshow/videos -
with the demo/digital recording of the strings mixed with the voices:
IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE - 1
IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE - 2
IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE - 3
IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE - 4
Samuel Beckett on vacation in Morocco, 1978
photo by Francois-Marie Banier
In IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE, the string quartet is the protagonist, listening and
responding to what they hear - akin to Beckett's KRAPP'S LAST TAPE or EH JOE -
The string quartet approaches a laptop on a table. Each player in turn, one at a time, presses the space bar and hears the recorded line,"No trace anywhere of life," - and then each player presses the space bar to stop it. Each member, as they hear the line, puts on an ear piece (to hear the click track) - and each presses the space bar as often as needed to make sure they hear everything they need to hear (the click and the voices) in order to proceed. This is repeated as necessary until everyone is ready. Finally, a player presses the space bar one last time, and the piece continues on - the quartet hears the voices and Beckett's text (essentially a description of an object and a set of instructions and directions) - and plays the music set before them, as their response - in the end, the voices stop and the quartet is left alone, contemplating whether to continue -
FOR THE COMPLETE SCORE, CLICK HERE.
Thanks to the actors whose recorded voices are heard in IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE:
Thanks to Mr. Beckett for, among many other things,
in the above letter - giving me
I've received two letters from Beckett - click above to see the second, regarding, among other things, a performance of the "frog chorus" he "composed" for his second novel WATT.