Three Electronic Dances
For Tape (1984(?))
by Ron Hannah

Duration: about 14 minutes

     Have you ever been so moved by a performance that you just had to respond somehow? Maria Formolo is a dancer whose work I had the pleasure of seeing several times. Once she appeared as a great shaggy bird, reminiscent of a west-coast totem, and through the slightest quiver of a finger (let alone movement of the whole body) conveyed beautifully the timorousness and grandeur of that creature. This was at a festival of which I was an organizer, sponsored by the Edmonton Composers' Concert Society (now called New Music Edmonton). I sent her the dances, but never received a reply, possibly because the festival had gotten into trouble and I don't believe she was ever paid, to my great embarrassment. But art transcends money, doesn't it? Maria, if you read this, my apologies.

    With very simple equipment, a DX7 synthesizer coupled to multiple tape recorders (this was the 80s, and I didn't even have a multi-track machine then), I put together these expressive dances. They range from dramatic and haunting (1st movement), to a quiet motif in two voices that go in and out of phase with one another (2nd movement), to an impossibly frenetic and explosive finale.

    BTW, the second movement is also the slow movement of my Concerto for Piano and Tape.

     If you are a modern dancer interested in performing this work, I'd love to hear from you! It has now been digitized and published on a CD called "BEAT", produced by PGM Audio (1901-2), and available through the Canadian Music Centre.