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About this Piece

The composer has provided the following note for the work performed this evening:

The work is in 15 short movements, which may be played in any order.

Steamier Sinner Blamed
An Idle Saint Remembers
Terrible As Mean Denims
Meanie Master Blinders
Beastlier Madmen Risen
Mere Brains Is Lamented
Miserable Sinner Mated
Denser Mealtime Brains
Last Inane Dismemberer
Remedial, Eminent Brass
Manliest Base Reminder
Able, Saner Determinism
A Mean, Dim Terribleness
Steamier Limb Ensnared
Merriest, Blamed, Insane

During the period that Slim in Beaten Dreamers was composed (1998-2000), Phil Burk and I developed the computer music toolkit Java Music Specification Language. JMSL is the successor to Hierarchical Music Specification Language (Burk, Polansky, Rosenboom), which the composer had been using since 1989. Unlike HMSL, which ran only on the Mac and Amiga computers, JMSL runs on any computer with Java, including Java-enabled Web browsers.

Some of the raw material found in the first ten movements of this work was created using the composer’s own software written in HMSL, as JMSL was still under development at that time. With the development of JMSL’s music notation package JScore, the composer’s migration off the HMSL/Amiga technologies was completed. The last five movements of this piece were composed using JMSL. Composing Slim in Beaten Dreamers had profound effects on developing JMSL, contributing many new design ideas. In fact it is the first composition for live ensemble created in JMSL, representing the maiden voyage of a new creative music technology.

Slim In Beaten Dreamers was commissioned for Meridian Arts Ensemble by The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust with support from Harvestworks. It is available on Meridian Arts Ensemble’s CD “Brink” (Channel Classics).

— Nick Didkovsky