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Punching The Clock

A chamber concerto for piano, entitled “Punching the Clock”, based on working songs from around the world.

The Latest Update

Video: NakedEye premieres “Punching the Clock” !

Posted on May 15, 2015 by NakedEye Ensemble

We’re honored to have had such a wonderful piece written for us. This one is going into our standard rep, look for future performances of Punching the Clock!

More Updates ▼

Live performance!

Posted on March 3, 2015 by Randall Woolf

Here is the recording from the concert. The NakedEye Ensemble was fantastic, and really understood the piece and delivered!

Premiere

Posted on February 13, 2015 by Randall Woolf

On Sunday, the  NakedEye Ensemble premiered “Punching The Clock”, and they were wonderful. I barely had anything to say at rehearsal, they were so musical and well-prepared. It was a fascinating program, mixing modern instruments and baroque ones, played by Melomanie, and even sitar, played by Ricky Belcastro on his own piece. Thanks to all!

Premiere tonight!

Posted on February 8, 2015 by Randall Woolf

I am in Lancaster, PA. Yesterday I rehearsed with the marvelous NakedEye Ensemble…WOW! The piece is sounding great, they prepared it so well. Tonight is the premiere. Very excited of course….funny how so much work and planning collapses into just a handful of minutes in the end. I will post the video when I get it. Thanks to all.

Rehearsals and premiere!

Posted on January 28, 2015 by Randall Woolf

I just got the tracks back from Sheldon Steiger, who mixed and mastered and otherwise beautified them. The first rehearsal is Friday! I will go to the last one, Feb. 7, and then the premiere, on Feb. 8, 2015. I can’t wait to work with the NakedEye Ensemble in person for the first time.

All done!

Posted on January 15, 2015 by Randall Woolf

PHEW! The piece was composed months ago, but I just finished the score, parts, track and click, always a huge chore. Danny Blume re-jiggered my loops and track to fit the click…next step is Sheldon Steiger mixes and masters it. The premiere is Feb. 8, 2015. Here is the final score (final for now….).

Punching The Clock midi demo

Posted on January 2, 2015 by Randall Woolf

Well, here it is…please excuse the less than ideal playing…this is why I do not perform live! The piece is for piano [featured solist] and flute, clarinet, sax, percussion, cello and electric guitar. Almost all of  this demo uses pianos sounds as a proxy. Some of the guitar is in there using the guitar…my guitar playing is even worse than my piano playing. The backing track is made from work songs from around the world.

correction

Posted on January 1, 2015 by Randall Woolf

The score has bass clarinet and tenor sax throughout, but in reaility there will also be Bb clar. and alto and bari. sax.

New score excerpt, with markings

Posted on December 30, 2014 by Randall Woolf

I think the score will be done on Jan. 1. Here is the latest installment.

Score [in progress]

Posted on December 28, 2014 by Randall Woolf

And here is most of the score…48 out of 59 pages, complete, but no markings. I write in a short score, and do most of my orchestrating afterwards…still finishing that.

Mostly finished

Posted on August 25, 2014 by Randall Woolf

The piece is mostly done…all composed, being transcribed from the Pro Tools session [a very arduous and challenging task! like re-assemlbing a broken mirror with tweezers}. Then I  will ‘orchestrate’ what I have, once I see it all laid out. As I said in the last update, this piece has blues and boogie everywhere…

Title change!

Posted on August 25, 2014 by Randall Woolf

I have changed the title of my piece from “Workers of the World” to “Punching The Clock”. Frankly, I did not think the Karl Marx overtone of the other title would be taken seriously, as it was by some. No political agenda in this piece, just an exploration of the affinities between work songs around the world, and how much of the BLUES is to be found in many of them.

Overview

 The NakedEye Ensemble intends to commission Randall Woolf for piano concerto for the group’s artistic director, pianist Ju-Ping Song. Scored for chamber ensemble and track, the piece is based on work songs from around the world. They will premiere it in March 2015 at the Winter Performing Arts Center, Millersville, PA,  and subsequently at the Chapel Venue in St Louis, MO, the Cell in New York City, and will repeat it in future seasons.

  Ju-Ping Song, artistic director:

 “Randall Woolf has been a featured composer in NakedEye Ensemble’s performances since 2012. Our unusual instrumentation, our bent for mixing styles and exploring the theatrical and visual have found a voice in Woolf’s works. This commission is a natural extension of a collaboration that draws on influences from the various classical and non-classical traditions with which NakedEye is involved.”

 Randall Woolf, composer:

 I’ve written several concertos lately, and am very interested in creating new relationships between the soloist and the ensemble. In “Punching the Clock” the soloist will be the ‘foreman,’ the ensemble the other workers on the job. I want to explore musical parallels to the kind of call and response, commentary, and other ‘conversational’ aspects of the work songs.

 For the past several years I have been collecting work songs, starting with Alan Lomax’s recordings of chain gang songs. A friend who heard this sent me songs of Bahrani pearl divers, an amazing rhythmic growling, in a call and response form. This led to my finding more work songs, from Africa, Asia, and elsewhere. Every culture has them. They share a great deal with one of my oldest and most fundamental musical influences: the blues. Work songs usually have driving rhythms, wailing sliding notes in their melodies, as well as guttural vocal sounds and repetition, all to be found in blues as well. I’ve touched on similar correspondences between the blues and Vietnamese music in my piece Mekong Delta Blues.

 

 

 

Project Media

Mekong Delta Blues
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Features: Randall Woolf

CUE POINT 1 1:04
CUE POINT 2 10:50

Composed in 2009, For flute, percussion, violin, viola, cello, and backing track. This pieces uses samples of Vietnamese folk music, recharacterized by the counterpoint and harmony played the live Western instruments. Performed by the American Modern Ensemble.

Gandharba’s Song
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Features: Randall Woolf

Gandharba’s Song is for violin, backing track and video. The video, by Mary Harron and John C. Walsh, is about the life of street musicians in Nepal. The track was made from a solo played by Bharat Nepali, a Nepalese Saranji player, and ambient sounds recorded in Katmandu. I layered and edited his solo, applied effects, and wrote lines for the violin that thread in and out of his solo. This is an example of the kind of technique i want to explore further in “Punching the Clock.” Deborah Buck, violin.

Gandharba’s Song
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Features: Randall Woolf

Gandharba’s Song
CUE POINT 1: 1:00
CUE POINT 2 3:05
Gandharba’s Song is for violin, backing track and video. The video, by Mary Harron and John C. Walsh, is about the life of street musicians in Nepal. The track was made from a solo played by Bharat Nepali, a Nepalese Saranji player, and ambient sounds recorded in Katmandu. This is an example of the kind of technique i want to explore further in “Workers Of The World.” Deborah Buck, violin

Gandharba’s Song
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Features: Randall Woolf

CUE POINT 1: 1:00
CUE POINT 2 3:05

Gandharba’s Song is for violin, backing track and video. The video, by Mary Harron and John C. Walsh, is about the life of street musicians in Nepal. The track was made from a solo played by Bharat Nepali, a Nepalese Saranji player, and ambient sounds recorded in Katmandu. I layered and edited his solo, applied effects, and wrote lines for the violin that thread in and out of his solo. This is an example of the kind of technique I want to explore further in “Workers Of The World.” Deborah buck, vln.

Dream Manifold
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Features: Randall Woolf

CUE POINT 1: 0:20
CUE POINT 2 3:02

This work sample is intended as an example of my writing for piano and chamber ensemble.

Performed by ETHEL and Kathleen Supové.

Start and End Dates

03/01/201503/08/2015

Location

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

12 updates
Last update on May 15, 2015

Project Created By

Brooklyn, New York
Randall Woolf studied composition privately with David Del Tredici, Joseph Maneri, and at Harvard, where he earned a Ph.D. He is a member of the Common Sense Composers Collective, and was the Composer/Mentor for the Brooklyn Philharmonic. In 1997 he composed a new ballet of “Where the Wild Things Are”, in collaboration with Maurice Sendak…

In Collaboration With

Commissioning ensemble
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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