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The Juggler (an imaginary play about Robert Lax)

by Brent Fariss

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The Juggler (an imaginary play about Robert Lax)

"The Juggler" is inspired by the minimalist poetry of Robert Lax. A piece of musique concrete creating an environment of sine tones, field recordings, and a treated chamber quartet. The piece deals with the creative process, solitude, and an imagined incident of an artist struggling with writers block/ finding their way. “The Juggler” uses three of Lax’s own poems as inspiration. I think of this as a soundtrack of an imagined (not yet performed?) play abstractly dealing with the life of Lax. The use of recordings, all made by close friends, act as memories for the juggler. From the sounds of Vanessa Gelvin’s handwriting, imagined hymns played by the Cedar Choppers (a trio I play in with Travis Weller and Andrew Stoltz), my son, Vincent, playing his euphonium, and field recordings of exploring abandoned homes with a secret crush. These recordings used are a way to reflect on memories of friends that are sorely missed, that are all the more poignant during this time of quarantine and isolation.

Live Realization: May 1, 2020 (May Day)


released May 11, 2020


Travis Weller – cello, violin
Andrew Stoltz – harmonium
Vincent Fariss – euphonium
Vanessa Gelvin – handwriting samples
Brent Fariss – sine tones, field recordings, contrabass


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