The Dancing Dollar: Dialogue

Program notes (download in pdf)

The piece Dialogue has been inspired by the discussion of Andy Meyerson and Richard Valitutto during the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, which they started right after the premiere of my other piece The Dancing Dollar. Because of the economical subject of that piece, they started talking about capitalism and didn't stop until far after midnight, covering all kinds of subjects like economics, music, art and life. Other participants were joining and leaving: some contributing substantially to the topic, others just having a small chat, or teaching each other musical things like an Indian tala.

Besides that particular night, the entire music festival was remarkable, as I experienced a genuine love for music in every genre: minimalism, latin, modernism, talas, jazz, dance music and so forth. It was this love for music, together with the love for a passionate discussion about the Big Things in Life, that inspired me to write Dialogue.

Samples include both recordings of that particular night and recordings of musical performances during the festival by the very same people. Special guest at the festival was Steve Reich, who hence will act as a special guest joining the dialogue in this piece, too, making his comments on economics and art.

Download spoken text on tape part.


Andy Meyerson, vibraphone.
Richard Valitutto, piano.

Studio recording made by Jake Faulkner, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA.
Final mix by Ruben Naeff.

Tape part featuring (in order of appearance) Ruben Naeff, Andy Meyerson, Richard Valitutto, Amy Beth Kirsten, Amanda DeBoer, Louise Devenish, Francis Liu, Steve Reich (from Frank Scheffer's In The Ocean), Jeremy Thal. Samples include music performed at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival by the same people: The Haunting of Mr. Wolf, written by Amy Beth Kirsten, Sequenza III, written by Luciano Berio, performed by Amanda DeBoer, Little Black Book, written by Jeremy Thal, and El Cuarto de Tula, written by Buena Vista Social Club.

Dive into the discussion itself

Download handwritten transcription of the recorded discussion or download the original recording itself: part 1 (13:25, 32M), part 2 (30:32, 73M), part 3 (00:05, 238K), part 4 (20:13, 49M), part 5 (29:19, 70M).


Andy Meyerson (left) and Richard Valitutto.

From left to right: Ruben Naeff, Maggie Hasspacher, Andy Meyerson, Richard Valitutto and Vicki Ray.