Zane Forshee (guitar) and Gene Koshinski (percussion) play Killjoy – III. “Clockwork” by Gene Koshinski (b.1980), scored for amplified guitar and percussion. Great interactive composition with excellent writing for the guitar. Fantastic playing by Forshee with a demanding and precise rhythmic part to execute in tight coordination with Koshinski. The guitar writing is very pitch oriented even with all the percussive and glissando effects; very effective soundscapes that mix well with the percussion.
When I was approached by Zane Forshee to compose this piece, he asked me to base the work on material or an idea(s) drawn from a book or other form of literature. I found it appropriate to choose a children’s story due to his new found role as a parent himself. This led me to the story of Cinderella, which has stood the test of time, entertaining children and adults alike, generation after generation. At the heart of the story is the clock tower. As the clock strikes midnight, it ends Cinderella’s time at the Prince’s ball and her fairy Godmother’s magical spell. In the story, the clock assumes the role of an antagonist (which, in real life, is something we can all relate to).
The title is derived from the Disney film adaptation of the story. In this version, Cinderella is awaked by the clock – foreshadowing the role of this antagonist. At this moment Cinderella exclaims:
Oh, that clock! Old killjoy.
I hear you. Come on, get up, you say.
Time to start another day.
Even he orders me around.
Well, there’s one thing.
They can’t order me to stop dreaming.
Killjoy explores the sounds of clocks, utilizing their musical value as a starting point. In essence, the work is a collection of variations on themes provided by various clocks where, in many cases, the “theme” is never actually stated. The first movement focuses on the stereotypical “tick-tock” of the clock. The second movement depicts a sweet lullaby that plays at the top of every hour. The final movement brings the listener inside the clock. When I was writing this, I had the vision of a mouse scampering from “room” to “room” inside a massive clock, the music magnifying the mechanical sounds of the inner workings of such a precise device.