Song 37, September 12 - 19, 2011

"Requiem For A Squirrel"

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"Requiem For A Squirrel" - song #37 - MP3 file

"Requiem For A Squirrel"

Length: 2:47

Track count: 6 tracks

Instrumentation: Omnichord, Casiotone 405, Squirrel

On my way home today, I saw a poor little dead squirrel lying in the road, and it made me really sad. I said out loud "I'm sorry you had to go, little squirrel." Then I thought about how things like that always make me sad - and how there are certainly many other people in the world who also let themselves be sad at these small but definite tragedies. And I'm glad for those people. Although experiencing these random periods of mourning for small lives lost can be a little disconcerting and disorienting on a daily basis, it's probably preferable to hardening yourself against them. That sort of tenderness may very well be one of the very good things that makes up for the many big, sad things in life, especially sad things that happen to animals and nature because of humans.

So - sorry you had to go, little squirrel. This song is for you!

To make this song, I dragged out the old Omnichord. If you haven't heard of it, it's sort of an 80s-era electric autoharp with a built-in rhythm section, a ton of hiss, and a superbly nutty flavor. Some of you might recognize it from the Goldfish pieces I did with Mike Barber and Cydney Wilkes for Ten Tiny Dances at TBA a few years ago. (I also used it as Muzak for the pivotal, yet ultimately confusing "private hospital" scene in "Starman, The Evil Brain From Outer Space.")

I played the basis for this song with the Omnichord hooked directly into my field recorder, pretty much verbatim, with a few less-than-perfect notes intact. Cheesy! And what goes with a big slab of vintage electronic cheese? More cheese, courtesy of the noble Casiotone 405 - why, it's an "electronic musical instrument," after all! I topped it off with a recording of a squirrel sassing my dog Sally, which I nabbed in a moment of serendipity in the backyard just as I was about to do the final mix of the song.

Thanks for listening - Enjoy!

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