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The number 23. Shrouded in mystery, one can link a multitude of natural phenomena as well as significant historical moments to the number:
- The earth's axis tilts at a 23.5 degree angle (2+3 = 5)
- Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times
- Blood circulates the human body every 23 seconds
- 2 divided by 3 is .666, the sign of the devil
- Each parent contributes 23 chromosomes to the birth of a child
Musically, the show utilizes this concept in a multitude of ways. Starting the show with a front ostinato using groupings of 2 8th notes and 3 8th notes, the battery then adds to this by utilizing accent groupings of 2 and 3, 2 against 3 patterns, rattamacues (diddle plus triplet single stroke), 8th notes into triplets, and many other musical motives. The front ensemble is featured in the ballad movement by utilizing 2 mallets in their right hand and 3 mallets in their left hand!
From a sound design standpoint there are numerous voice overs that offer explanation into the phenomenon. As the show continues and the members become more obsessed with the number, some of the darker facts bubble to the surface. These include a recitation of psalm 23 (As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...), as well as some subtle layered speeches and interviews from Adolph Hitler (attempted coup in 1923 started his rise to power), Charles Manson (born November 12, 11+12 = 23), and David Koresh of the famous Branch Davidian cult (Their compound in Waco was sieged on April 19, 4+19 = 23). The show ends aggressively with the members eventually going insane from their obsession with the number.
This show offers great opportunity for the students to become invested in the concept, often doing research on their own, which will provide a better performance of the product. Secure your copy today!