Zipper Music

Zipper Music by Judith Shatin

Instrumentation: 2 Amplified Zippers Players, 2 MIDI Controller Operators
Duration: 8:00
Premiere: 4/18/19
New Music Ensemble
Old Cabell Hall, UVA
Charlottesville, VA

Program Note
Zipper Music is scored for 2 amplified zipper players with interactive electronics performed by a MIDI controller operator. It forms part of my Quotidian Music series, eliciting the music afforded by everyday sounds, and performable by ‘everyday’ people; Traditional musical training is not required. Rather, the score offers clear icons for the number of pulls, the grouping, and the interaction of the two players, made clear by the use of a timeline. This series takes a fresh look at both sources of music and performance options.

Each zipper has a distinctive timbre, depending on material and length, as well as the fabric to which it is sewn. The zipper players are amplified and the sound  sent to a laptop where it is transformed in a range from none to wild using a MIDI controller. The original Max patch was created in consultation with me by composer/technologist Max Tfirn, with some additional tweaks by Alex Christie during the premiere rehearsal process. Zipper Music can be thought of as a dialogue, where the interactions vary in both intention and intensity, and always have an emotional valence. They may agree or not,  try to convince one another, interrupt one another, or come together.  Likewise, the sonic transformations support or inhibit these interactions, creating a vivid counterpoint


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