Brianna Matzke, featured artist in the Kent State Vanguard Series performs This Train, Blue Shine for piano, ebow, guitar slide, and harmonica
Bob Dylan’s It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry features “lazy slap” style drumming (a slower tempo slightly favoring the offbeat), steady strummed rhythms, and resolute piano, vocal, and harmonica parts. Along with the music, the lyrics evoke a sense of locomotion, “ride on a mail train,” as well as imagery: “shinin’ through the trees” and “the sun look good goin’ down over the sea.” This Train, Blue Shine takes its lead from these elements and unfolds a deconstructed blues while re-imagining the piano played like a guitar. With an emphasis on timbre and texture, the piece begins with hand stomps inside the piano and a low rumble resembling a slow train. Gradually, the piece opens up to the piano’s full range and features layered textures created by strumming, guitar slides on strings, and an electric bow (e-bow). As homage to Dylan’s iconic sound, the harmonica joins the texture until the end of the piece. Many thanks to Brianna Matzke for her artistry and for the opportunity to write for The Response Project.
I am so honored to be a part of Brianna Maztke's third The Response Project: Something is Happening Here.
SOMETHING IS HAPPENING HERE is a community-wide response to Bob Dylan's 1964 album Highway 61 Revisited. Twelve composers, nine filmmakers, and six multidisciplinary artists create new work in response to songs from the album. These evenings feature short films and musical responses. Visit www.theresponseproject.org/bds-the-project for more info.