Let Not Life Far From These Fingers Flee / My Dog Has Fleas

memento mori, Morey / flea-tingly
PDF | Midi Mp3

Yes, this is a weird one. It’s two songs in one: “Let Not Life Far From These Fingers Flee” and “My Dog Has Fleas.” Each of them can work on their own perfectly well, so: you’re welcome.

But I did write both of them together for my first Spring 2016 outing as Composer in Residence with the Lake Zurich North Middle Schools orchestra (LZORK) under the direction of Mr. Riley Broach. This was the song for the eighth graders, and the premise was a ukulele player trying to sound like a classical orchestra while a classical orchestra was trying to sound like a ukulele player, both continually interrupting each other — sort of a twist on the Bug Bunny cartoon, “Long-Haired Hare.” It was a WAY too ambitious thing to pull off in the three rehearsals we had.

And, so far, it’s only been performed once!

The PDF & Midi Mp3 versions in the header above are usefully stripped down versions of both parts. But if you want to experience the thing in full, treat yourself to this PDF of the full Middle School Orchestra score, and then follow along with this Midi Mp3 version of the full score.

Midi Mp3 version of “Let Not Life Far From These Fingers Flee / My Dog Has Fleas,” as written for LZORK in the Spring of 2016.

We also have a recording of the actual LZORK concert recording of it. Please pardon the extraneous hissing and digital noise and just enjoy, as I did, an entire eighth-grade class of musicians saying “Sez You!” to me. (And with a month more of rehearsing? Well, look out.)

Lake Zurich North Middle School Orchestra, 8th-grade Class, “Let Not Life Far From These Finger Flee / My Dog Has Fleas,” May 2016.

the kind of music your great-great-great-grandparents warned your great-great-grandparents about