I recently came to a stopping point in an fixed electroacoustic piece that I had been working for a while.

“Pop Reference” takes a dialogue I wrote between a pair during a car ride where they confront each on some frustrating situations with their relationship. The dialogue progresses through different exchanges where they both confront each other on issues of distrust, cheating, and lack of communication. The actual musical piece takes the dialogue and sets it in the internal listening and psychological perspective of the male, Taylor, as he transitions through moments of mental ‘static’, listening and interaction with the female, Amanda.

From a musical standpoint, the use of static and noise stems from the impressionist idea of anguish, and the linearity of the piece is often truncated and scattered to give a sense of adrenaline-driven sense of mental chaos.

The title comes the use the allusions to people and places around Baton Rouge the use of pop tunes on the ‘radio’. This piece in a way, follows the musical lineage of Wagner’s Mild und Leise, Lansky’s ‘ Mild und Leise, and Radiohead’s Idioteque, each featured on the ‘radio’.

This piece as a whole stood to act as emotional catharsis after a break up with a previous girlfriend. We had never really fought nor acted in the same way the two characters in dialogue do. This piece in a way, acted as a proxy for emotional release and closure. The confrontation was a vicarious release.

The piece is unfinished, but is at a somewhat episodic resting point. It has been performed twice (Baton Rouge and New Orleans). A copy of the stereo audio file is here. Please listen with headphones in a quiet setting.

[Pop Reference Text]

Recording of dialogue Voices of the characters are Taylor McClellan and Amanda Sager.