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Work

Death Cap Mushroom : an anti-opera

by Michael Kieran Harvey (2021)

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Death Cap Mushroom

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Work Overview

The Death Cap Mushroom is a deadly poisonous mushroom often mistaken for ordinary funghi (pron. FunGuy). It has taken out at least one Roman Emperor and one Holy Roman Emperor. It won't go away, and it seems to be spreading, even to Australia, where it is concentrated near Parliament House, Canberra. On the surface it seems quite a reasonable mushroom but once it gets inside a human death follows swiftly. Though looking the same as other mushrooms it regards itself as superior and chosen. It holds gatherings in national parks where it glories in its white European roots. It is closely associated with the orange fat-headed American poisonous mushroom, Fly Agaric, that returns every four years. The prime sequence to 17 is used throughoutthe piece (17 is a product of primes 2,3,5,7). Prime = supremacy. Toy piano = white privilege.

Work Details

Year: 2021

Instrumentation: Piano, toy piano, extended rock kit, vocal/guitar playback.

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Highly virtuosic, high synchronicity required

Dedication note: Dedicated to Hannah Pike

Commission note: Commissioned by Australian National Academy of Music.. Commissioned as part of The ANAM Set (2021)

First performance: by Hannah Pike, Alex Bull — 26 Oct 21. Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne, VIC

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc in relation to this work:
Ad Nauseum, Sepultura, Terry Bozzio, Gergo Borlai, Ben Cannings, Anthony Pateras.

This piece is intended to be performed with restrictive click track. Vocals and guitar are played back on a separate track in the stentorian anti-operatic tradition of Ligeti, Feldman and Spike Jones.

Performances of this work

26 Oct 21: Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne, VIC. Featuring Hannah Pike, Alex Bull.

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