High Octane

High Octane

1997, 23:00

Voice and Large Amplified Ensemble

Written for ASKO Ensemble


Programme notes

For Instrumentation, click on ORDER SCORE


I. Transport

I smell the fumes of the future
filling my brain with high octane
I’m dissolving in swirling sound
weaving thru vapors of hum ‘n buzz
my vessel’s signed ‘no return to sender’
floating in this sea of crystalsonic splendor

I smell the fumes of the future
filling my head with hazy vapors
every trail I knew and loved breaks up into static
a big wide screen of crumbling sony chromomatic
my ship’s followed endless chasms
of ruptured granite, cracked and cleaving,
veins, as long as light years,
of pink and yellow, gleaming

I am only waiting for a spark
I am only waiting for the roar
show me your radiant spectrum
from the lowest, deepest rumble to a stratocastin’ sirencore
reaching sounds that only your polaroids can hear
I smell the fumes of the future
gasoline, thick like cotton candy
and crystalphonic clear

II. Space Cowboy

Some people call me the space cowboy
‘cause I’m floating like an argonaut in heat

halfway from nowhere is too close for comfort
a tiny, twirling planet of green and blue below
full of hungry little rodeo boys, tangled up in the woods
west coast coin flippers trying to steal the goods
t-t-t-toyko t-t- t-t- t-t-t-toyko t-t-toyk t-t-t-toky- toyko

toyko gophers, brill building loafers and broadway mozarts
I can hear for light years, I’m the gangster of buzz

I was a tripahopaholic
‘fore Flash and Herc were spinnin’
I was cutting deep in vinyl
folding melodies like linen
when your single-pole,
double-throw b-boys weren’t conceived of
when breakbeat meant no barline
I dropped the old school metrical
for the wiggly-line electrical

wiggly wiggly wiggly wiggly wiggly

my form is aerodynamic,
trans-atlantic bounding and leaping, don’t panic
no over-heated franco-sixin’
no stinking up the joint with neo-geo counterpoint
no lo-fi styling, finger-filing squiggly-lining,
sonic koans, buddha drones, improv over telephones,
live body art, new age for the young at heart,
old new age for shoppin’ K-Mart,
retro-folkie in the metro
homies, breeders, feeders, random seeders
readers selling half-digested Charlie
for those who can’t take it gnarly
Keep a distance from inflated overturing,
overrated border blurring,
pop for blue hairs, blues for kiddies,
spunky Mozart, punky pop tart, funky g-men Gordon Liddys,
biodegradable Newk (call it Hilverslumming)
all the things you ain’t
(nobody’s fainting at your second coming)
pull the shado on Plato, hang the horn up on Burney,
if they ring you up at home, its too late for an attorney

no phone-it-in hand-clappin’, no nappin’ on the one
don’t leave your Wilsons out at night,
don’t leave your Velvets in the sun
no Billie Holiday on ice, no doo-whack on the curbs
sounds like your backbeat left Chicago
and it headed for the ‘burbs
no Bugs ‘n Daffy zappin’, no scherzos outta Tom & Jerry
no Igor on a pogo stick, hey Arvo Pärt, meet Dirty Harry
later with the hi, honey I’m tonic,
no lo-calorie noodlin’ on the white bread keys,
get a grip on that vibrator,
ya know you’re shaking at the knees
melodic stop n’ shop up on top
go figure bass down below
“plug it in and turn it on” don’t make it snap,
don’t make it crack, don’t make it pop,
don’t make it wow and flutter
sounds like that digi-doggy’s down
with a chronic phonic stutter

I got the hissy gliss criss-crossing; stereo’s for losers
klang and drone and bang and moan and
I can hear for light years, I’m the gangster of buzz
‘cause I speak of the effect before the ‘cuz

III. Speed of Light

Rodger 8 and Rodger 9 crashed into the moon
didn’t you see their snapshots of that waterless lagoon?
pictures full of silence,
holes the size of Kansas
when they never made it back,
I thought we’d messed it up for good
bad dreams fell out of the sky, I didn’t know they could

whoosh, whoosh
what a starry night
gotta catch up to the sp-speed of light

I’m getting moonsick and homesick over you
the smell of stardust always makes me blue
a moonbeam is my rudder,
a waterlily my boat
the big wide screen horizon,
it seemed like a good idea at the time
forget your date with the brave new world,
break out the vodka and the lime

whoosh, whoosh
what a starry night
gotta catch up to the sp-speed of light

push, push
push me into flight
gotta catch up to the sp-speed of light

whoosh, whoosh
com’n, hold me tight

as we slowly fall to pieces over a thousand years
one by one, each part’s replaced ‘til nothing’s what it appears
my future’s set on rewind, I jump forward into my past
oh, Saint Augustine
oh, Doctor Nerve
oh, mama
it’s all over and over and over and over and
over and over and over and over and
over and over and over and over and
over and over and

© 1997 voLsap Music, Amsterdam