The Syncing Stick

[for drum set and fixed media]

composed 2014: 12 minutes


Lip-syncing is pervasive in our popular media.   What we watch is live, but what we hear is pre-recorded.  This piece is the opposite—at least at first, sort-of.  A video has been created of a complex through-composed drum solo.  About 20 different angles were filmed, and then these different views were meticulously edited together in order to give the viewer a close and musically relevant view throughout.  In performance, the live drummer follows an animated score which allows him to synchronize with the pre-recorded video being shown behind him.  Most audience members will find themselves watching the screen, even as a real live person is creating the sounds that they are hearing.  After a while, pre-recorded sounds ARE heard from the speakers, and then the live drummer “lip syncs” (stick syncs?) to these pre-recorded sounds as the screen drummer sits quietly.   In the final section the pre-recorded screen drummer breaks away and initiates a duet with the live drummer.