Dead Elvis

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Next week, I’ll be per­form­ing Michael Daugh­er­ty’s Dead Elvis with the Sacra­men­to State Sym­phon­ic Wind Ensem­ble as part of the school’s annu­al Fes­ti­val of New Amer­i­can Music. Dead Elvis is scored for the same ensem­ble as Igor Stravin­sky’s His­toire du Sol­dat — clar­inet, bas­soon, trum­pet, trom­bone, vio­lin, con­tra­bass, and per­cus­sion. But where­as the main char­ac­ter in Stravin­sky is a vio­lin-play­ing sol­dier who sells his soul to the dev­il, Daugh­er­ty’s piece fea­tures a bas­soon-play­ing Elvis who has made a sim­i­lar trade. The soloist in fact dress­es as Elvis while play­ing a mix­ture of vari­a­tions on the Dies irae (from the Latin Mass for the dead) and snip­pets of Elvis tunes.

I’ve got my cos­tume reserved, I’ve been study­ing the 1972 doc­u­men­tary Elvis on Tour, and I’ve got a reed on which I can dou­ble-tongue, blast out loud low B‑flats, and scream on high Es. Now, just to per­fect my moves and get used to play­ing with sun­glass­es on…

The Concert:

Sac State Sym­phon­ic Wind Ensemble
Wednes­day, Novem­ber 9, 2011
8pm — Free Admission!
Capis­tra­no Hall
Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, Sacramento

  • Pat Atkinson

    November 15th, 2011


    You deliv­ered a superb per­for­mance, both as a bas­soon­ist and as Elvis. In fact, it was a bit scary!

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