Knott’s for speaking percussionist (2012)

For Christmas in 1992, my future in-laws gave me a poetry collection from the Pitt Poetry Series. A few of Bill Knott’s poems were in this collection and I’ve been a fan of his work ever since. When Kevin Keith asked me to write a work for him, we talked about a lot of possibilities of how to incorporate his interest in drama with his interest in performing. I thought merging Knott’s poetry with a percussive commentary would be the perfect opportunity to give the performer the kind of music he wanted and to finally write a piece that shares some of the poetry I hold dear.

Download the score: Knott’s

Check out these videos of Aaron Ragsdale performing!

Movement 1: Lifer (AKA Happy Birthday)

Movement 2: At the Crossroads

Movement 3: (poem)(Chicago)(1967)

Movement 4: To X

Movement 5: How I Lost My Pen Name

Or check out the audio from Andrew Spencer’s performance!