New Revision: Casper Hauser Songs
Among my works Casper Hauser Songs has always remained one of my personal favorites. But there was always something wrong – I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was.
Then after five years I realized what it was: it was the sort of vaguely a little bit maybe rock instrumentation. Baritone sax, tuba, distorted electric guitar? What? And I never did decide if that was an electric bass or acoustic or what. The thing is, Casper Hauser Songs is not a rock album. It is not an EP, as much as I guess I wanted it to be at the time. It’s a song cycle. It’s a lieder cycle, which makes sense given the subject matter. So I decided to recast it for acoustic instruments and reclassify it, so to speak.
Out went the baritone sax, in came two bass clarinets. Out went the tuba, in came a bassoon. Goodbye electric guitar I still don’t really know how to write for, hello two violas. Cello and bass remain, but not amplified, and I finally figured out how to deal with the bass (by finally dealing with the bass). And in so re-orchestrating I ended up virtually rewriting the piece as I went. Though the notes are the same, how and where they’re played have changed pretty much everywhere. I’m much happier now. I’m in a happier place. Which is good, because I had a rough month, let me tell you.