Sugar’s Waste is an experimental, theatrical music performance, one hour in duration. The work features songs, experimental choral work, and atmospheric instrumental pieces. The scores are created by hand, using a combination of traditional, durational, graphic and indeterminate notation. The core ensemble is a string quintet that doubles as a vocal chorus; some pieces feature further additions, such as live digital processing, electric guitar, piano and hand-held tape recorders. Short poetry readings are scattered throughout. Sugar’s Waste is related to 20th and 21st Century non-narrative, post-operatic practices, as well as popular music formats such as conceptually-integrated recorded albums. The songs and scores were written concurrently with a series of poetic texts that address themes of partition, enclosure and resistance in the historical and imaginary ‘range’ of early post-contact North America. These themes inspired the staging, set and sound design of the work.
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