E-Eye (1988)

For Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Harp, Piano, and Two Percussion - all of whom also sing (or, in future versions, may be replaced by SSATTB Chamber Choir). Poem by Evan Hause. Premiered by students at the Oberlin Conservatory on January 28, 1989 in Warner Concert Hall.

Program notes:

E-Eye is a hymn to the night; a hybrid of rock, minimalism, and classical music; and a grand sonic exploration. It is an experiment in having instrumentalists sing while playing, a commonplace technique in rock music, on a grand scale. (see Autumnal Sketches). The end result fuses Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan-type hammer-on techniques on the electric guitar and bass with Schoenbergian Sprechstimme, Reichian harmonies, and extended techniques on all of the instruments in a nursery-rhyme-simple mentality. Namely, as I explored my own poem (below), I found that it reached for an apotheosis of the syllabic ordering: e-i-e-i-o. The spiritual meaning is abstract, but is mystical, influenced by Eckankar and the Kate Bush album, Hounds of Love.


Prayer for the Still Motion of Night

An eye; a crescent eye casts its unyielding stare
Second-hand shadows
The sky is bright this late.

I'm all alone.
We're all alone.
We're all alone together.
I'm all together.
The eye.

A second-hand
Eye alone, I alone
We bright this late
He born me right...

We love his E...

He love his eye...

He never leave I alone...


Music and Text © Evan Hause

Recording personnel:

Electric Guitar and Voice - Evan Hause
Electric Bass and Voice - Anders Dahlberg
Harp and Voice - Trina Struble
Piano and Voice - Kelly Conley
Percussion and Voice - Will Chase and Loren Mach