The Book of Scenes
New York to Australia expat/turntablist/sampler wizard/composer David Shea returns to Sub Rosa with his seventh release for the label, Book of Scenes. Throughout his career, David Shea has collaborated on projects with the likes of such experimental/new music luminaries as John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Zeena Parkins, Jim Pugliese, Ikue Mori and Anthony Coleman. Through his work one might find equally steady fascinations for audio-collage, contemporary music, easy-listening, jazz, soundtrack, traditional music, and classical music, used in complex amalgamations of genres and cultural references. He employs compositional methods from contemporary classical composers and early electronic experimentalists such as Iannis Xenakis, Giacinto Scelsi, Gyorgi Ligeti, Morton Feldman, as well as many film composers such as Bernard Herrmann and Henry Mancini. This new release consists of specific atmospheric tracks; a kind of open book, an open music film... a true composed work of high-level classical sampler music! The Book of Scenes is a collection of pieces for viola and piano. Each piece is a single scene, scored on a single page, placing the players and the instruments in different situations and relationships to each other. Incorporated within this framework, the players experiment with sampled recordings of themselves as well as the electronic environment they perform in. The work can be played in any order and the sequence is chosen beforehand by the players. The scenes explore solo and duo playing, with musical roles placed inside of shifting contexts, many related to visual references, films and iconic memories. This record presents Book I -- the first 29 pieces performed live with some scenes constructed electronically from samples and memories of other scenes. Many of the sections are visual in nature, for example -- the alto player bows his instrument while the pianist places his hands on the viola neck and chooses the notes to be played, followed by the alto player placing his hands inside the piano to mute the pianist's notes as well as a scene where the players are blindfolded. These scenes have been replaced by electronic manipulations of the live performance. The result is a flow of relationships and scored or scripted scenes living between the orchestration of the acoustic instruments and the electronic characters they engage with.