title: Slightly Less Awkward People
instrumentation: bass clarinet, electric guitar and electronics
duration: 7 minutes
written in: 2007-8

Slightly Less Awkward People is a sequel to a piece I wrote in college called Slightly Awkward People. Back then I was just getting into Shudder to Think’s bizarre masterpiece Pony Express Record, and I was fascinated by the album’s ungainly irregular rhythms, lopsided song structures and abrupt shifts in tone. I wrote a piece that used the same ideas in a chamber-music context, and named it in tribute to the oddballs and geeks that I thought of as “my people.”

The sequel is not quite as disjointed as the original, but it has its share of awkward gestures: phrases that cut off too abruptly, notes repeated too many times, pauses that last too long. When I was working on it, one of the rules I followed was that if a rhythm made me laugh, I had to keep it. Much of the basic material alludes to Bach — listen for a melody based on the C minor prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I — but the sound is Space Age, full of shiny synths and reverb.

Slightly Less Awkward People was written for Sara Budde and James Moore.


Sara Budde, bass clarinet
James Moore, electric guitar
Studio recording, 10.6.08

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