MetatronAlbumn Art


Eliot Britton - Percussion Ensemble, Synthesizers and Electronics



Programme Notes:

“I never really played what was written, just looked at the melody and made it up as I went along”, said Gran, referring her loose interpretations of the sheet music piled neatly beside a massive 1904 upright piano, the type that was old when acquired used in 1947. My Grandmother’s collection of yellowing song sheets has incredible publishing dates and even more incredible prices. They sat carefully folded between the pages of the comparatively new (60s) Reader’s Digest, Familly Song Book. Watercolour Illustrations of well dressed couples dance across each page, beaming out at the reader, a portable music format overflowing with sentimentality for dance culture that had slipped away.  A beautiful memory but the piano had to go, and it would go by chainsaw.
Age does strange things to people. Driven by the compulsion to settle affairs, and possibly resentment at no longer having hands that could play, Gran asked me to deal with the music stuff. A piano as old, heavy and ornate as this, generated a great deal of curiosity, but few strong enough to move it. So, one afternoon I helped my 95 year old grand father (at his insistence) slide the piano into the garage. Six months later after returning home, I was greeted by a stripped piano, was handed a dull chainsaw and asked to finish the job. With grim determination and numb hands from the vibrations of a hopelessly dull tool, I dismembered my first musical experiences, thinking only of centuries old musical legacy and the attachment to music technology. Firewood, or maybe something more. 
Metatron was created from technological and cultural cast offs that bullied their way into my life. Gran’s song book, record collection, and the destruction of the piano was the catalyst to a greater reaction that had been building for years. I followed the technological trajectory of two Irving Berlin songs, letting technology and format govern structural, formal and tension building elements. By exaggerating the characteristics of each technology, share my vivid technological listening experience.