Zipper Music by Judith Shatin
Instrumentation: Version 1, Duet: 2 amplified zippers players, 1 or 2 MIDI controllers
UVA New Music Ensemble
Old Cabell Hall, UVA
Instrumentation: Version 2 , Quartet: 4 amplified zipper players and 1 or multiple MIDI controllers
Duration: 8:00 or greater
Zipper Music is part of my Quotidian Series, inspired by the rich sonic tapestry of our daily world. The series features digital music as well as electroacoustic pieces that are performable by those with no traditional music training. The goal of the series is twofold: to create music from sounds that we encounter in our daily lives but often lie beyond our attention and to offer performance opportunities to all. I created new graphic notation that can be interpreted by those without a background in traditional music.
The idea for this piece came to me suddenly when I was fiddling with the zipper on a vest and started noticing the variety of sounds and rhythms as I pulled the zipper in different patterns as well as pulling the material away from and closer to my body. I became fascinated and decided to create Zipper Music for amplified zipper players and interactive electronics. Composer/technologist/performer Max Tfirn created the Max patch in consultation with me, a process with a great deal of delightful experimentation. My initial foray was a version for zipper duet, with very specific instructions for both the zipper players and the MIDI controllists. However, I wanted to add a more collaborative element to the zipper player parts as well as making it performable using a wide variety of controllers. The resultant version is more collaborative, though the notation components and processing effects are the same. It can be performed by a duet, trio or quartet of amplified zipper players, with eqiupment and processing options as the limiting factors.–JS