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Deep Stew

for alto flute, violin, cello, double bass, bass clarinet, drum kit and Hammond organ

Year:  1997   ·  Duration:  10m
Instrumentation:  strings to be electrified; drum kit: 2 tom-toms, bass drum, hi-hat, muted cowbell, sizzle cymbal. Hammond organ can be substituted by keyboard with Hammond B40 sample.

Year:  1997
Duration:  10m
Instrumentation  strings to be electrified; ...

Composer:   Juliet Palmer


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"Have you ever lost your mouth or anything in that small area... your lips, your teeth, your tongue, your tonsils? The throat ... everything around there. You'd be in deep stew, yes. ... " Patti Labelle, Moon Shadow

Listening to the Hammond-centred sound of the Peddlers in my parents' car in 1974, I'd feel positively queasy. Ransacking my Dad's cassette collection a few years, I stumbled across some of this old 'driving music'. Somehow I no longer felt nauseous when I listened to it. Around the same time I bought my brother a collection of Rare Groove for his 30th birthday. One of the stand-out tracks is of Patti Labelle singing her version of Cat Stevens' Moonshadow. The central section is an insanely long rant by Labelle in which each of the musicians solo (including a fabulous Hammond improv). Deep Stew takes it title and its spirit from this crazy sequence of what if's.

Commissioned by the Composers' Association of New Zealand with funds from the QEII Arts Council, Deep Stew was premiered in 1994 at Wellington Town Hall, New Zealand and revised in 1997. The Bang on a Can All-Stars gave the work its American premiere in 1995 at New York's Lincoln Center.

The current arrangement (1997) is a new revised version written especially for the California EAR Unit.

Commissioned note

Original work was commissioned in 1994 by the Composers Association of New Zealand with funds from the QEII Arts Council (now Creative New Zealand). This arrangement was written for the California EAR Unit

Dedication note

For the California EAR Unit

Contents note

Single movement

Performance history

06 Jan 1999: 1997 arrangement premiered by California EAR Unit