The Louse and the Flea

For typist and electronics.

Program Notes

The performance of The Louse and the Flea requires a single performer typing the story of the Grimm Brothers fairy tale in full, and, as he or she does so, a developing sonic field dependent on the typist’s input accompanies a dynamic display of the text. The computer keyboard, via Max/MSP and the action of the typist, triggers both aural and visual developments.

Two realms are represented in this piece: one of narration and dialogue, and the other of cacophonous disorder. Each repetition of the rhyme escalates the disorder of the chaotic realm, until, finally, the water-spring’s participation eliminates all dialogue and cacophony by washing away the characters in its gushes of “pink noise,” leaving only the immovable narrative voice.