Let’s Keep It That Way (2014)

Download the score – Let’s Keep It That Way


  • improvised setup of resonant metals and drums
  • Computer for stereo playback of live-triggered events
  • A foot pedal to trigger the events is recommended
  • Amplification for the spoken voice is also recommended

Program Note
I am an avid reader of comic books and one of my all-time favorite series is Planetary by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday. One of the main characters in the series is The Drummer, a man who can control the flow of energy and information with drumsticks. By drumming on computers, televisions, or electrical panels The Drummer can move, shape, and bend the forces to his liking. This piece does a similar thing with chaotic and random synth textures becoming transformed and shaped as the percussion soloist plays. In addition to the synth textures, I’ve used recordings of my father and I doing some carpentry work in his garage on summer. The power tools (and our captured conversations) are another stream in this “control and shape things” metaphor.

About Me

Jay C. Batzner (b. 1974) is currently on the faculty of Central Michigan University. He reads too many comic books and tries to find time for sewing and other various hobbies. Jay likes playing chess but loses a LOT of games. 

Jay’s frequent interdisciplinary collaborations with choreographer Heather Trommer-Beardslee has led to several dance works based on student veterans, ecological succession, the Larry Craig scandal, and hyena behaviors. The hyena piece even includes puppets! 

80s atonal awesome bilston comic books comics concerto contemplative counterpoint duet dulcimer duo electronics fixed media funny hard high voice improvisation marimba medium voice noisy percussion piano poem poetry pop quartet sci-fi scifi setup short song song cycle speaking spiky spoken strugatsky timpani trigger triggered trio unpitched weird white zen

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