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Scott Wollschleger

American Dream

for piano, contrabass, and percussion

(2017)
Duration35'
CommissionCommissioned by Bearthoven
PremiereFebruary 28, 2018; Roulette Intermedium, Brooklyn, New York; Bearthoven • Karl Larson/piano, Matt Evans/percussion, Pat Swoboda/bass
InstrumentationSee preview pages for full percussion inventory.
Technical requirementsThree scores are required for performance.
PublisherPSNY

Media

Program Note

Driving on the interstate, one stops at gas stations, a state fair, a sleazy motel. The memory of these places blend together—commercial rest stops that look the same connect places, blurring time. Trying to make sense of the many impressions and places, one creates a narrative from these fading images.

Similarly, Wollschleger describes American Dreamas an “abstract musical landscape of fragmented songs.” He emphasizes:

There was an urgency in the creation of the piece, spawned from my reflection on the state of the world and what I felt was a crisis happening in the country. I was able to get out of this sense of despair through writing the piece. The process changed me: as it went on it became less about the crisis I was sensing, and more about abstract sound and pattern. I composed blocks of musical time and wove them together in a discontinuous way. Knowing I was writing it for Bearthoven—who are able to jump between these different grooves to create a shock between competing ideas—allowed me to write in this way… Part of my aesthetic is acknowledging our experience in the world. This discontinuous experience of the world is where the piece comes from.

Karl Larson (piano) elaborates:

American Dreamis comprised of a number of ‘broken songs,’ including fragments from Gas Station Canon Songand We See Things That Are Not There. Scott breaks up the pure iterations of these songs and twists them into a more complex, wrought soundscape. This idea really gets to the essence of his style, I think. The juxtaposition of the beautiful and the grotesque / the lofty and the banal is a major theme in much of his music.

Our lives are filled with familiar sounds we learn to ignore. Wollschleger’s American Dream brings these sounds to the forefront: the white noise from a television set being turned on at 3AM, the faint sound of a carnival, the buzzing ecstasy of 20 vibrators (the final gesture of the work). Wollschleger makes other subtle references to pop culture through musical inside jokes, pointing out: 

At the beginning of the piece, the meters alternate between 7/4 and 11/4, a hidden nod to the famed convenience store chain 7-Eleven. A lot of American Dreamis about ambiguous states—happy, sad, really goofy, really abject—and the oscillation between these seemingly contradictory feelings. This is my American Dream.

Pat Swoboda (bass) adds:

Of course your thoughts about the American Dream are always a reflection of yourself. There are those that do believe in a materialist version of that dream—the idea of ownership as fulfillment or success. Some people might think that it’s obscene, and to another person it might be the most beautiful thing they’ve ever heard—American Dreamreflects these differences in perception.

As the American Dream evolves with time, it becomes a combination of all our individual, potentially conflicting narratives. Can these come together to create one “dream” or do they break down through this incongruity?

– Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

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Types of Products

Full score and Solo Part (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Digital)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Digital)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Print)

Parts (Mov. 11 only) (Print)

Full Score (4 needed for performance) (Print)

Choral Score Set - 20 copies (Print)

Chamber Ensemble Score (Print)

Piano Reduction and solo parts (Digital)

Choral Score Set - 16 copies (Print)
Includes 8 copies of the soprano/alto part and 8 copies of the tenor/bass part.

Score and part (Digital)

Score and part (Print)

Conductor Score (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Digital)

Video and instructions (Digital)

Piano reduction and solo part (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Digital)

Study Score in Two Volumes (Print)

Score and Parts (Digital)
Score and part PDF files are delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Full Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the full score is delivered via email upon receipt.

Soprano/Alto Part (Print)

Full Score (Print)
A print edition of the score ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Tenor/Bass Part (Print)

Parts (Digital)
A PDF file of the part(s) is delivered via email upon receipt.

Parts (Print)
A print edition of the part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt.

Solo Instrument Score (Digital)
A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Digital)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Score and Parts (Print)
A print edition of the score and part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. The email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer.

Solo Instrument Score (Print)
A print edition of the score is shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Print)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. Print edition(s) of the full score/performance score are shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Multiple copies are included if the work has more than one player. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Choral Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the choral score is delivered via email upon receipt. The set is priced to allow multiple copies of the PDF to be printed for performance by the purchasing organization only.

Choral Score Set- 8 copies (Print)
Minimum order quantity is 8 copies. Single copies are not available.

SATB choral score (Print)

Vocal Score (Digital)

Vocal Score (Print)

Choral Score (Print)

Full Score and Solo Part (Print)
A print edition of the score and solo part ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Print)

Study Score (Print)

Study Score (Digital)

SATB choral score (Digital)

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Digital)