Carl Schimmel – Serving Size 4 Bunnies
Recorded by Ryan Streber and Michael Rice at Mix-O-Lydian Studios.
Mixed by Chris Thompson and Ryan Streber.
I. In which a bunny ponders its meaningless existence.
II. In which an irascible bunny takes out its frustration on others.
III. In which a lavender bunny is a yellow chicken.
IV. In which a bunny, delirious from the sugary fumes, degenerates into a hysterical grinagog.
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Serving Size 4 Bunnies was written for the Original Skin Percussion Project (originalskinpercussion.com). The unusual title for this work was stolen from a box of seasonal marshmallow confections. Each of the four brief movements depicts a different anthropomorphized bunny, each of whom exists in a unique emotional state. The work belongs to two current, concurrent, and none-too-disparate strands in the fabric of my compositional philosophy: (1) absurd music, and (2) music using the squeaky toy, an instrument whose versatility I discovered while playing with my dog Jaga.
My goal in writing the work was not by any means the stereotypical goal of a “new music” composer – that is, to produce a work of the “masterpiece” ilk (unless there is such a thing as a masterpiece of frivolity) – but rather to contribute to the seriously under-represented genre of humorous “serious music.” SS4B is “serious music” only inasmuch as it is written out on paper and at times demands that the audience listen carefully. This is not of course careful-listening-music in the tradition of Babbitt and Wuorinen, and yet the casual concertgoer may be surprised to learn that the piece continuously uses the mathematical “Rabbit sequence” (1, 10, 101, 10110, 10110101, …), which arises in the hypothetical reproduction of rabbits and which possesses many interesting properties, not the least of which is its relation to the Fibonacci sequence (add the digits of each term…). Then again, a glance through any bit of nonsense is sure to reveal some number play – think Alice in Wonderland and nursery rhymes –
Also watch this live performance. Performed by Line C3 percussion group, May 2005 in NYC.