"The buzzsaw-noise keyboard samples that kick off Annie Gosfield's recent piece Lightning Slingers and Dead Ringers, as performed on a new EP by pianist Lisa Moore, pack as thrilling a low-end grind as anything I heard in techno this year." - Seth Colter Walls, December 2011
Lisa Moore is back with her second EP, Lightning Slingers and Dead Ringers, written specifically for her by composer Annie Gosfield, who is described as "...a major figure of the downtown scene with pieces that use nonmusical sounds in a strikingly expressive manner."
Wondering where such an eclectic title comes from? A "Lightning Slinger" is an archaic term for a telegraph operator, and an apt simile for a pianist who translates musical ideas into an electric medium. This piece is performed on a piano and a keyboard sampler simultaneously, so that the pianist can use piano techniques and interpretive skills in both the acoustic and electronic realms. A "Dead Ringer" literally means an exact substitute of something. The dead ringers in this case are samples of piano sounds: the detuned, retuned, pinging, sliding, and rattling sounds are altered piano, prepared piano, and inside the piano techniques, which sometimes resemble guitar, bass, and even synthesizer sounds.
The last track, "Brooklyn, October 5, 1941" was inspired by the 1941 Dodgers vs. Yankees World Series, and is performed with two baseballs and a catcher's mitt. The baseballs are rolled, rubbed and struck on the keys, strings, and soundboard of the piano, and the mitt provides an expanded span for giant clusters and chords.
Lightning Slingers and Dead Ringers was commissioned by Lisa Moore with funding provided by Meet the Composer's Commissioning USA and The Argosy Fund for New Music.