Mix Tape

Solo bass

Commissioned by Jeffrey Weisner.

To me, making a tape is like writing a letter — there’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again.
A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the
attention (I started with “Got to Get You Off My Mind”, but then realized that she might not get any further
than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two),
and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can’t have white music and black music
together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can’t have two tracks by the same artist side
by side, unless you’ve done the whole thing in pairs and…oh, there are loads of rules.
–Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
The rules of Mix Tape are not nearly as complicated as those delineated by Nick Hornby above. The idea, in fact, was quite simple: take popular songs and spin new pieces around them. The original source material which Jeffrey Weisner (for whom the work was written) provided consisted entirely of songs from the 1980’s, the period where we both would’ve been in our late
childhood and adolescence. As I worked, the concept evolved somewhat to include popular songs from different decades, beginning with the 1960’s and culminating in the 1990’s and reflecting the variety of my own musical tastes, as well as Jeff’s. The resulting pieces are arranged within the framework of the Baroque instrumental suite, with the pace and tempo of each movement reflecting the pace and tempo of the individual dances of a large-scale collection of stylized dances like the keyboard partitas or suites for violoncello or violin of J.S. Bach.
Mix Tape was commissioned by and written for bassist Jeffrey Weisner in July and August, 2009.

Mix Tape

by Jeffrey Weisner | Neomonology