After Frank Zappa

Additional Information

I had the sound of these comically spoken words stuck in my head:  “some people like …” and “I for one care less for them“.  They were from a familiar yet elusive, long-since-heard piece of music (Parliament/Funkadelic?  Luciano Berio?).  I began to construct a voice piece from them.  Using Google, I typed “some people like” into ‘Advanced Search’, specifying the exact word order.  From the myriad links this produced, I choose 17 completions of the phrase “some people like” that appealed to me.  I took only the words shown in the links without clicking/opening them.  I then did the same thing with my own phrase “while others prefer”.  At some point, while putting the piece together, I remembered the origin of the comically spoken words:  Frank Zappa’s introduction to his track Muffin Man, from the album Bongo Fury.  I was reminded that Zappa’s track finishes “some people like …” with “cup cakes better” and “cup cakes exclusively”.  I added these phrases to my piece.  One of the phrase endings that came from the “some people like” search was “the sound of machines”.  This gave me an idea for the end of the piece.

Commissioned and premiered by CoMA Singers, St. Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch, London, 10th November 2015.



Open score piece for between nine and ninety-nine voices of mixed or unmixed ranges.