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Andrew Kohn

Andrew Kohn: Prelude to a Spectacle

Andrew Kohn: Prelude to a Spectacle

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Includes performance notes and parts. 

Instructions for a theatrical tableau: no playing involved.

Performance Directions:

Assemble the following items in the performance area:

Piano along back of performance area. Fully raise the lid.

Insert wedge to hold damper pedal down, as if for sympathetic resonance.

Music stand with oversized piece of brown cardboard or plexiglass (to hold presumed oversized score).

The score itself.

Microphone for double bass. Plugged into large amplifier. Be sure to check the microphone. Stool for double bassist. Place it with exaggerated care. Later, remove it.

Double bass.

Music stand with ball-peen hammer, golf club (driver), and riding crop or whip.

Music stand with two small fishbowls, each holding a betta splendens (Siamese fighting fish),

with a large microphone suspended over them. Can use artificial fish. A large tam-tam.

A laptop computer with power drained, attached to amplifer/speaker.

When opened, it doesn’t start up.

Drag a large orange or yellow extension cord from off stage, plug it in, start it up.

Mask, hidden in another container such as large brown shopping bag

When all is in place, leave the performance area.

Reenter and take a bow, as one does at beginning of a piece. Attach mask to the scroll of the double bass.

Bow and leave again. The piece is over.

-Andrew Kohn, 2019 (Pittsburgh Opera, West Virginia University) 

About the Composer

Andrew Kohn teaches string bass, music theory, and Music in World Cultures at West Virginia University. He holds his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and received the only AD in double bass awarded by the Peabody Conservatory. His principal teachers included Eric Moe, Pablo Ortiz, Eugene Levinson, Eldon Obrecht, and Barry Green.

The former principal bassist of the National Chamber Orchestra and Harrisburg Symphonies, he is a member of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Theatre Orchestras and an active soloist. His publications have appeared in the book On the Music of Stefan Wolpe (ed. Austin Clarkson) and the journals American String Teacher, Bass World, Double Reed, Fulcrum, Musica Hodie, Muzyka, and Perspectives of New Music; he has read papers at Wolpe Symposia and AMS and SEM conferences and has performed, lectured and adjudicated at international bass conventions.

He has recorded and edited for Music Minus One. His compositions have been broadcast nationally.

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