imagination dead imagine

samuel beckett's

 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.  

the world premiere was in San Diego in June, 2017 - 

 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

 click here for additional videos and info - 

 

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 more details about the piece, click here.                               For the complete Beckett text, click here.

 

FOR THE COMPLETE SCORE, CLICK HERE.

 

 

Thanks to Mr. Beckett for, among many other things,

in the above letter - giving me

permission to compose this piece many years ago.

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.

On November 2-7, 2015, videos of my treatment of

IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE were featured at a

Beckett Festival at King's College Chapel,

Cambridge University - curated by (and thanks to)

Christopher Prendergast - click here for details