The first movement Tokyo 1969 carries the
performance instruction "Ginza-gone-Reno glitz", as
if the neon of the famous Tokyo district has been "tackified"
even more. Two gestures are presented, one vertical and one linear,
and they gradually expand, juxtapose and then merge in layers
of rhythms and punctuations. The harmonies and accent patterns
are meant to reflect the tackiness of the scene.
Roma 1908 is based
on a phrase from a cadenza in the aria Una Furtiva Lagrima,
from Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore. Two excerpts from the
aria are heard, taken from the 1906 recording by Enrico Caruso.
The actual cadenza is only heard in the middle of the piece,
performed in transposed versions by the piano and soundfiles.
The additional machine-like recordings supported by the
performance instruction "Wistfully pastoral, with neo-Euro-industrial
overtones" act as a foil to the implied aria. Unheard
by the audience are Satie-esque performance commentaries written
in the score for the performer's enjoyment.
final movement is New York 1953, with the performance
admonition "Real gone hep cats 2 a.m. Greenwich Village,
yeah, man, go-go-go"! The movement is almost an investigation
of wrong notes, as the opening repeated pattern gradually breaks
down, jumps off in different directions, bounces against the
soundfiles, distorts, disappears, and then finally returns for
a triumphant conclusion. This movement is quite demanding of
the pianist, since the playback is unforgiving.