The name of your piece being performed at LACP 2013 is:
Tell us about it.
The idea for Mr. Distinguished came from a simple idea—I missed writing fun music. I had been knee-deep in my opera about Gesualdo, and I felt I needed to write something that wasn’t emotionally draining.
Inspired by the works of Jacob Ter Veldhuis, I set upon finding a recording of a Dickens story or some poetry. I came across a website, LibriVox.org, an online project that gets volunteers to record themselves reciting books and poetry in the public domain. After days of searching, I found the text for Mr. Distinguished from a chapter of Emily Post’s book of etiquette—the chapter titled “Introductions.”
Much like a kid (me) entering phonetic combinations of letters into a Speak & Spell to hear dirty words, I wanted to manipulate the text into something much more playful than the ridiculously snobbish original text. I manipulated the spoken text to create a character, Mr. Distinguished, who is despicable and goes against many of the rituals Emily Post suggests. He is “always abrupt and unflattering, rude, preposterous, [and] inelastic”—he is almost exactly the way I was described by my etiquette teacher.
Favorite X : Y
My favorite car from the Pixar Cars movies is Fillmore.
Here’s the piece: