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Work Title
Alt. Title
Beach Birds
Alt. Title
Extended Lullaby
Composed in 1991. Premiered in Zurich, June 20, 1991.
Ensemble Type
Work Length
Approximately 30 minutes
For four performers (1 or 2 pianos, rainsticks, violin or oscillator, silence).
This work was originally used as music for the choreographed piece by Merce Cunningham entitled Beach Birds, with stage decors and costume design by Marsha Skinner. In this piece, four players perform 4 different actions, following the given time brackets: 1. Silence. 2. The sound of a rainstick. 3. A sine wave. 4. Excerpts from Extended Lullaby, played on the piano(s). The Extended Lullaby is a set of 12 chance-determined variations of the cantus firmus and counterpoint of Vexations by Erik Satie (variations Cage also used in his Two6.) The rainsticks are played by slowly tilting, taking care not to disrupt the continuity of sound. The oscillator (or violin) plays a high C, without vibrato. Everything is to be played as softly and as slowly as possible. The work was commissioned by the Junifestwochen Zurich, Switzerland.
Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Peters Edition EP 67407