BRAHMS V. RADIOHEAD

Short Desciption

Brahms V. Radiohead is an epic symphonic synthesis of Radiohead’s album OK Computer and the Brahms First Symphony, utilizing a full 70-piece orchestra and three pop vocalists. The piece stays in the romantic sound world of Brahms, using only the instruments he would have used to debut his Symphony, but woven in, superimposed, and inserted are the melodies and music of Radiohead. At times we hear the melodies and words of Radiohead suspended over Brahms’ original music; at times we hear the orchestra playing the music of Radiohead but with the dense counterpoint Brahms. Every combination is explored, and we constantly move from one to the other- but the piece is seamless and many times the audience is left wondering which is which, and how the combination was even possible.

Length

65 minutes

Instrumentation

2.2.2.3 | 4.2.3.0 | timp+1 perc | strings

Soloists: 3 vocal soloists

Movement Listings

Steve Hackman’s BRAHMS V. RADIOHEAD
A STEREO HIDEOUT Production
Created and arranged by Steve Hackman

RADIOHEAD   “Airbag”/Introduction     

JOHANNES BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 - Movement 1 - Un poco sostenuto ; Allegro: Exposition  

RADIOHEAD   “Paranoid Android” 

RADIOHEAD   “Climbing Up the Walls”     

BRAHMS Movement 1: Recapitulation           

RADIOHEAD   “Karma Police”         

BRAHMS Movement 1: Coda   

RADIOHEAD   “Subterranean Homesick Alien”     

BRAHMS Movement 2 - Andante sostenuto: Beginning         

RADIOHEAD   “No Surprises”          

BRAHMS Movement 2: Ending           

 

BRAHMS Movement 3 - Un poco allegretto e grazioso: Beginning   

RADIOHEAD   “Let Down”   

BRAHMS Movement 3: Ending           

BRAHMS Movement 4: Adagio—Più andante

RADIOHEAD   “Exit Music (For A Film)”    

BRAHMS Movement 4 - Allegro non troppo, ma con brio: Exposition          

RADIOHEAD   “Lucky”          

BRAHMS Movement 4: Recapitulation           

RADIOHEAD   “Electioneering”       

BRAHMS Movement 4: Coda

 

Program Notes

Brahms V. Radiohead is an orchestral synthesis of the Brahms First Symphony (1882) and Radiohead’s OK Computer (1997), wherein ten songs from Radio- head’s seminal album are experienced through the lens of Brahms, drawing upon the latter’s harmony, form, counterpoint and motives. This was the first large-scale work of this type that I endeavored, and what a thrilling process of analysis, discovery, de/re-construction and creation it was.

These two works share striking and defining characteristics; the most significant is their mood of anxiety and brooding pathos. Brahms, unendingly plagued by the shadow of the great Beethoven, took more than a decade to write this symphony, for fear of not living up to his predecessor, and that pressure is felt in each tightly-wound measure. For Radiohead, the themes of social alienation, consumerism, emotional isolation, and political turmoil are channeled electrically through every anxious note and lyric of OK Computer.

Secondly, both pieces represent ‘invention within convention’- adhering to existing structures but innovating within them (in Brahms’ case, the symphony form, and in Radiohead’s, the concept album).

Finally, they have distinct musical similarities; beyond the fact that both are dense, substantive and full of rich counterpoint, I heard unmistakably similar melodic and harmonic devices. For example: the iv-I chord progression of ‘No Surprises’ is used by Brahms (with an added 6th, in inversion) in the final moments of the 2nd movement; or the fact that ‘Subterranean Homesick Alien’, like the Brahms first movement, is in 6/8 time (rare for an alternative rock song).

I took advantage of those similarities in the synthesis, and it is those moments that I am most excited about. We hear ‘Subterranean Homesick Alien’ over an undercurrent of Brahms' pedal tones; the stark opening music of the symphony adding to the frenzy of ‘Paranoid Android’; the final lyric of ‘No Surprises’ floating over the gorgeous conclusion of the second movement; themes of the third movement evoked in the distance during the experimental middle section of ‘Let Down’; and the ostinato bass figure of the fourth movement coda providing the rhythmic motor of ‘Electioneering’.

A final note: some may purport that these two pieces are separated by more than just time. They may seek to label and categorize them, and perhaps judge their respective and comparative values accordingly.

I believe that the more we truly understand the creative and technical processes that result in any kind of art- regardless of genre or category- the more similar they will reveal themselves to us. 

- Steve Hackman, May 2018

Images


TCHAIKOVSKY V. DRAKE

Short Desciption

‘Tchaikovsky V. Drake’ is a symphonic synthesis that blends the music of two composer-romanticists separated by almost a century. Fifteen songs of Drake are woven into Tchaikovsky’s epic Fifth Symphony in every way imaginable. We hear Drake’s melodies soaring in tandem with Tchaikovsky’s; his raps motoring almost impossibly with Tchaikovsky’s rhythmic figures; then vignettes of Drake’s music with Tchaikovsky’s motives and melodies superimposed over top. Every possibility of synthesis is joyfully and beautifully explored. Joining the full symphony orchestra are three singers (India Carney- Top 3 on NBC’s The Voice and backup singer for Katy Perry; Malia Civetz- Warner-Chappell artist with one million plays on Spotify; Mario Jose, on tour with Postmodern Jukebox and Pentatonix), rapper Jecorey Arthur (1200). Conductor/creator Steve Hackman also plays piano for several interludes, and the piece features and extensive Bach-like cello solo as a prelude to the fourth movement.

Length

63 minutes

Instrumentation

3.2.2.1 | 4.2.3.1 | timp+1 perc | strings

Soloists: 3 vocal soloists, 1 rap vocalist, conductor+pianist

Movement Listings

Steve Hackman’s TCHAIKOVSKY V. DRAKE
A STEREO HIDEOUT Production
Created and arranged by Steve Hackman

Prelude- Started From the Bottom/Headlines

I. Andante - Allegro con anima

Started From the Bottom
Headlines
The Language
Over My Dead Body
Over
Crew Love

Interlude #1- Controlla

Interlude #2- Hold On, We’re Going Home/Marvin’s Room

II. Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza
Marvin’s Room
All Me
HYFR

Interlude #3- Take Care

IV. Andante maestoso - Allegro vivace
We’ll Be Fine
The Motto
Hotline Bling
Hold On, We’re Going Home
Find Your Love
Jumpman



Program Notes

Started from the bottom now we here...

Thus begins the first single from Drake's smash-hit album Nothing Was the Same (2013). The song speaks of emergence, transcendence and triumph.

The Fifth Symphony by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composed in 1888, follows a similar narrative. It begins in desolation and agony; it ends in radiant exultation.

While these composers differ in the vehicle by which their music is delivered, they are identical in the clarity and candidness of their emotional expression. There is no doubt as to the feeling being represented through their music. And in the pieces that found their way  into this mash-up, there is even a certain innocence and naiveté- as if this is what it sounds like when we experience these emotions for the very first time.

Tchaikovsky and Drake are quintessential romantics; they are wonderfully sentimental- and that is why they seemed ripe for juxtaposition.

How does one combine rap music with a classical symphony? The process began by looking at it as a hip-hop producer would- identifying sections of Tchaikovsky that could be paired with Drake's raps. In tandem I searched for melodies of Tchaikovsky's that were of a similar enough contour to the melodies of Drake, then adapted the latter to work in counterpoint with the Tchaikovsky.

The real trick was organization and structure. The technique that evolved was linking a specific Drake song with each new theme of Tchaikovsky's. This meant many of the Drake songs would have to be split up, since in a symphonic movement the main themes appear twice, at the beginning and towards the end of the movement. Therefore in the mash-up one Drake song is introduced, then several other songs would be heard before the conclusion of that first song.

To the famous 'fate theme' that appears throughout each movement of the Fifth Symphony, the aforementioned 'Started From the Bottom' became a perfect fit. Tchaikovsky treats this theme differently throughout the piece according to the emotional arc: at the beginning, it is full of anguish; in the second movement, it is a fiery and thunderous interruption; at the end, it is triumphant. Each time Drake's words accompany it. And in the end, to compliment the triumph, it morphs appropriately into Drake's 'Jumpman'.

To highlight the similarities of heart-on-the-sleeve sentimentality, there are moments where the orchestra is significantly scaled back and Drake's melodies take the balance of the content (to be sure, Tchaikovsky is always woven in where possible). These “vignettes” feature extended solo passages from orchestral players, the addition of solo piano to give a more intimate feel, and percussion played by Jecorey, our rapper.

It is often said that at some point in the compositional process, a work takes on a life of its own and the composer becomes its servant rather than its creator. This has been true of all my works, and each one has challenged me more than its predecessor. This piece required of me every technique I've learned thus far, and dared me to invent new ones- new ways to combine and synthesize. In all the frustrated moments, when it wasn't working or when I thought I was doing a disservice to either or both composers, it made me question what I was doing and why I was doing it. It made me think like so many mash-up critics, who say 'what is wrong with these pieces by themselves?'.  

Overcoming that doubt and working through those challenges has changed me. It has changed the way I see music and what I think is possible in music. It has reminded me that doubt is healthy and it has emboldened my resolve. The journey from the bottom to Jumpman has been epic indeed, and it is my sincere hope that you find meaning in the journey as well.

 

Steve Hackman, March 2017


Images



BARTÓK V. BJÖRK

Short Desciption

Bartók X. Björk synthesizes the music of two of the 20th century’s most ingenious musicians into one; it is an exploration of the avant-garde and adventurous. Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is fused with the music of Björk, selected from her first three albums Debut, Post and Homegenic. These two composers from different genres are beloved for similar reasons: their radical and colorful musical language, extremes of emotional expression, and thrilling modernism. Underlying the combination are the parallels between the narrative and biographical context of Bartók’s Concerto and the subjects of Björk’s songs; the ominous threats of war in the first movement with ‘Army of Me’, the second movement’s playful ‘Presentation of the Couples’ pairs perfectly with Björk’s ‘Human Behavior’, the heart-wrenching third movement Elegy with Björk’s ‘All is Full of Love’ and ‘Hyperballad’, the ambivalence of the Finale’s conclusion with ‘Play Dead’, and the exoticism of the folk melodies throughout the piece with ‘Hunter’. Three female vocalists join the full orchestra. 


Length

60 minutes

Instrumentation

3.3.3.3 | 4.3.3.1 | timp+3 perc | 2 harp | strings

Soloists: 3 vocal soloists

Movement Listings

Steve Hackman’s BARTÓK V. BJÖRK
A STEREO HIDEOUT Production
Created and arranged by Steve Hackman

I. Introduzione
_army of me
_hunter
_bachelorette

II. Giuco delle coppie
_human behavior
_unravel

III. Elegia
_all is full of love
_hyperballad

IV. Intermezzo interrotto
_isobel

V. Finale
_venus as a boy
_joga
_play dead


BEETHOVEN V. COLDPLAY

Short Desciption

 A merging of musical giants, Beethoven V. Coldplay pairs two composer/artists that deal with universal and humanist themes in their music, and asks the musical question- would Beethoven have found meaning in the music of Coldplay? That notion, perhaps odd-sounding at first, becomes much more compelling when considering the events surrounding Beethoven’s creation of the Eroica Symphony- an artist desperate to solidify his position as the reigning musical genius in Vienna, but yet still misunderstood and criticized, and a young man in his thirties faced with the reality that he would indeed soon be completely deaf. How, then, would Beethoven have reacted to the Coldplay lyrics ‘Nobody said it was easy?’ or ‘When you lose something you can’t replace…. could it be worse?’

Beethoven V. Coldplay transforms the Eroica into an oratorio, weaving the melodies and lyrics of Coldplay into the original Beethoven, pairing them together based on content and context. It is the alternate Eroica Beethoven may have created had he known the music of Coldplay at the time. Three vocalists join the full symphony; many of Coldplay’s most well-known songs are interpolated, including ‘Yellow’, ‘Viva La Vida’ and ‘The Scientist’. 


Length

50 minutes


Instrumentation

2.2.2.2 | 3.2.0.0 | timp | strings

Soloists: 3 vocal soloists


Movement Listings

Steve Hackman’s BEETHOVEN V. COLDPLAY
A STEREO HIDEOUT Production
Created and arranged by Steve Hackman

Beethoven 1st Movement: Allegro con brio
---- Clocks
---- 42
---- Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

Beethoven 2nd Movement: Marcia funebre
---- The Scientist
---- Princess in China

Beethoven 3rd Movement: Scherzo
---- Paradise

Interlude: Sparks

Beethoven 4th Movement: Finale
---- Viva La Vida
---- Fix You




Program Notes

Would Beethoven have appreciated the music of Coldplay?

A ridiculous notion, I know. But just follow me here for a moment. Pretend Beethoven was your very same age, and he was seated next to you at this concert. Pretend you were able to strike up a conversation with him.

I ask you to engage in this exercise because that is where my thinking took me when writing Beethoven V. Coldplay, for I realized shortly after beginning that I was the exact same age Beethoven was when he wrote the Eroica symphony. This had a startling and ultimately revelatory effect on me. As I was rewriting the very same notes he had written- at the very same point in our lives- I found myself thinking of him as an actual person. This closeness went far beyond any biographical study I had done before. So I began to wonder- what if I knew him? What would he be like? Could we possibly have had anything in common?

And eventually, of course: what we have thought of Coldplay?

Beethoven confronted broad, universal and humanist themes in his music- would he have found affinity with a band that did the same? His music was deeply personal; he connected his emotional state directly and without encumbrance to the notes he wrote- is there any doubt, when listening to Chris Martin sing and play the piano, that he does the same?

The Eroica symphony is now mentioned among only a handful of pieces that changed the course of music forever, and Beethoven was certain of its brilliance; yet the premiere was met with ambivalence, with some critics calling it ‘unintelligible’. Would Beethoven have felt empathy with the Coldplay line, ‘Nobody said it was easy… no one ever said it would be this hard’?

Beethoven had a coarse and unpleasant personality and therefore found sanctuary from the outside world in his music. Would he have appreciated the lyric, 'I turn my music up... I shut the world outside... I hear my heart start beating to my favorite song…'?

Or, 'When you love someone and it goes to waste, could it be worse?’- would those lines have meant something to the composer who struggled at romance and was often tortured by unrequited love?

And can you imagine the 34 year-old composer- who had recently battled depression to the extent of considering suicide owing to the realization that he was irreversibly going deaf- not being overcome by the lyric, ‘Tears stream down your face… when you lose something you cannot replace…and I will try to fix you’?

I chose to pair Beethoven and Coldplay because of their shared universality- that feeling they evoke that this is what music should sound like. Only upon finishing the piece did I begin thinking of all these serendipitous connections. At first they startled me. How was I so lucky? How is it possible that these lyrics could relate so much to Beethoven’s life?

But then I realized- we love Coldplay because we feel they are speaking just to us- their songs seem to tell our own stories. So why shouldn’t they tell Beethoven’s? If he was once a person the same age as us, desperate for recognition of his genius, battling his health and depression, longing for love, and ‘dreaming of paradise,’ who is to say he wouldn’t have found escape in a song of Coldplay? Or a moment of peace knowing that someone had been through exactly what he was going through and had found a way to perfectly articulate it through song.

So what is the point of an exercise of this sort? Will changing the lens through which we view these artists and composers provide a new perspective? Will finding connections between them offer a new context? Isn't it just a little too far-fetched to even think that Beethoven would EVER have listened to Coldplay? And even if had- what is the point in combining his music with theirs?

I know my answer. You're about to hear it.

-Steve Hackman, October 2015


Images



COPLAND V. BON IVER

Short Desciption

Copland's Appalachian Spring and the songs of Bon Iver coexist miraculously in this program that synthesizes the two into one continuous 45-minute suite. The pastoral nature, simple folk-like harmonies, and pure delivery of emotion in each make them perfect for amalgamation- to the point where it sounds like they were made to be fused together. Nine Bon Iver songs are woven seamlessly into Copland's beloved masterpiece. Three singers join the orchestra.

Length

46 minutes

Instrumentation

2.2.2.2 | 2.2.2.0 | timp+3 perc | harp | piano | strings

Soloists: 3 vocal soloists

Movement Listings

Steve Hackman’s COPLAND V. BON IVER
A STEREO HIDEOUT Production
Created and arranged by Steve Hackman

Introduction/Woods
Very Slowly
Calgary/Allegro
Perth
Moderato
Skinny Love
Fast
Towers
Subito Allegro/Minnesota, WI
Holocene
Doppio Movimento/Hinnom, TX
Re:Stacks
Coda      

Program Notes

I’ll never forget hearing Bon Iver for the first time. It was the song ‘Woods’, which opens strikingly with a single, unaccompanied and heavily auto-tuned voice. A reflective four-line phrase is sung and then repeated in full, but with the addition of a vocal harmony. This happens over and over, each time a harmony being added, almost like a trance-inducing incantation, until it is an immensely powerful chorus of this uncanny and supernatural voice. This was a voice to be listened to.

The summer before I attended the Curtis Institute of Music, I picked up an LP of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring with Leonard Bernstein conducting. I fell in love with the piece that summer, listening over and over, with giddy anticipation that I was about to attend the same school as Bernstein. All through my years at Curtis I would listen to that record. I’d lay down on the floor of my apartment, close my eyes, and dream of conducting the work with a major orchestra someday.

Lasting impressions, deep connections. This music is more than just music to me, just like your favorites are to you. In combining them I bring two beloved friends together, to commingle, become familiar, explore what they have in common, and share stories. How special that I can facilitate and be a party to that.

The origins of my working with vocalists goes back even further, to my days in high school singing in and arranging the music for a barbershop quartet. Following that, for four years at the University of Illinois I sung in and directed a distinguished a cappella group called The Other Guys. It was these choral scenarios that gave me my first conducting experience (indeed Bill Prokopow later sung in and directed that same group).

So again I am bringing two beloved parts of my life together- the chorus, which I was so immersed in during my high school and undergraduate years, and the orchestra, which I’ve been working with ever since.

I tell you all this to illustrate this point: any creative artist is simply using A) the techniques he or she has developed and B) the means at his or her disposal to bring into form something original, that is representative of their unique artistic journey.

Something Michael Tilson Thomas said to me about Mahler comes to mind, referring to the latter’s interpolation of folk music and (then considered) bizarre orchestral effects: ‘he was using the sound world of the orchestra to represent the music that he heard in his daily life.’ That is what any composer is doing, and that is what these mash-ups are. 

This particular piece was actually the first fusion I attempted, in 2012. The premiere went well enough with the Indianapolis Symphony that it opened up the opporunity for an even bigger endeavor the next time out, which became the Brahms V. Radiohead. The Copland V. Bon Iver has sat on the shelf since then, in favor of newer and more skillful works, but I always thought it might become something special if I gave it a rewrite. Last summer I did just that, adding several Bon Iver songs and making the piece more synthesized and cohesive as a whole.

In that way this one is particularly special to me, because it again illustrates a journey- from that first attempt in 2012 until now.

What a journey it has been. I do hope you enjoy.


- Steve Hackman, January 2016


Images


FIREBIRD: REMIX | RESPONSE LYRICS

Introduction (Rare Bird)

Prince:

It only took a glimpse

But I was looking for it

We see what we want to

When we see desperate

I know that she’s a rare bird — bonafide

She’s every rare before bird multiplied

Multi skies, highs, multis in her eyes- she vetted

Faulty disguise, multi web of lies — she shed it

Encrypted icons, map embedded — she read it

Cause she’s a legend, yes, she’s a legend

The key, the cipher, the lead

The treasure!

Chorus:

And so- resolved, assured....

His search for hero

Becomes of her

The Fire/Night

Prince:

Her steps tread lightly and her feathers bright

Fantasy luminescence — but will I find her fire tonight

All right

Firebird:

All the while- she burns

Through the fire — he learns

Holy is the night

Holy is the fire

Prince:

It only took a glimpse but I was looking for it

We see what we want to when we see desperate

I know she’s bonafide — a rare bird

Her flight scheme’s vintage

She decodes the icons on my map, a legend

She guides me through uncharted, past my world’s edges

To measure her you’ll need a new system invented

Her fight scheme’s vintage

Firebird:

All the while — she burns

Through the fire — he learns

Holy is the night

Holy is the fire

Prince:

These sculptured things of mine

These culprit dreams of mine

They round the circuit and renew

Places to be of mine

People to see of mine

I’m round the corner from the view

Chorus:

Becomes of her

Firebird:

Tallied up and fitted with an open bind

He resolves to get her with it

Don’t be on the under when the thing unwinds

Once again he dig it dig it

All the while — she burns

Through the fire- he learns

Prince:

Her steps tread lightly and her feathers bright

Fantasy luminescence — but will I find her fire tonight

Pretty Bird Eyes

Prince:

A nose for adventure, and an eye on the prize

Adrenaline junkie and his motto: never die

Fated for glory or fated for demise

Firebird:

Little bird fire knows where the action’s at

She loves her independence and she loves her Fender strat

She locks up her journal with a magic keypad

Both:

She locks up her journal with a magic keypad

Firebird:

He’s looking for adventure

She’s looking for nobody looking at her

She’s had enough of ramblers and explorers

When these two fnally meet, it’s gonna be fire

You better take a seat- this bird can go all night

But you’ll be off your feet- when they go higher

Prince:

Cavalier style — man he shoots from the hip

Jump-starts his motor in his Jumpman kicks

Secret compartment in his bag full of tricks

Firebird:

Homecoming queen? Try again; not her style

But she dropped her mixtape at the dance and they went wild

A flair for the beats and an eye for textiles

Both:

A flair for the beats and an eye for textiles

Firebird:

He’s looking for adventure

She’s looking for nobody looking at her

She’s had enough of ramblers and explorers

When these two finally meet, it gonna be fire

You better take a seat — this bird can go all night

But you’ll be off your feet — when they go higher

Prince:

She got the power, bae, she’s a sorceress

Red lipstick and a black leather dress

Red marks on her paper and she couldn’t care less

Firebird:

He got his dirty little fngers in a lot of dirty pies

But the dirt is belied by the pretty boy disguise

But the pretty boy now got them pretty bird eyes

Both:

The pretty boy now got them pretty bird eyes

Firebird:

He’s looking for adventure

She’s looking for nobody looking at her

She’s had enough of ramblers and explorers

When these two finally meet, it’s gonna be fire

You better take a seat — this bird can go all night

But you’ll be off your feet- when they go higher

Man Down

Chorus:

He searched errantly

Prince:

I had been looking for her

Through several iterations

Chorus:

Found not she, but he

Prince:

Each time, another man down

Each time, a further permutation

Chorus:

Man down

Prince:

Man down-first one’s the hardest; felt a sting, did you now?

Thought you were gnarly on the corners but you round

This is the game, what it’s about

Man down- get the man down

Two men down

Second one’s easy- sheddin’ versions like a dog

Can’t even place the you before- can you recall?

Now put the option on withdraw

Man down- get the man down

Firebird/Chorus:

It’s the standard drop

When you feel it pop

It will break you off

Man down — when you get a man down

Hunting high and low

Your deliverables

Marking; hide and show

Man down — when you hit get man down

When you get a man down

Prince:

Oh — see, this is what happens when you go rogue

When you see the other end of the tow rope

Floating, unattached, oh — but your instinct

Is so in sync- really?

I told you you would switch again, two years ago, you said that’s silly

If I switch again they’ll freak; my mom and dad will kill me

Well you flipping, flopping, blowing in the wind like lilies

and you willy nilly running round, I’m really running out of things that rhythms with ‘illy’

You feel me?

Forget it, man, I gotta switch it up, cuz

I know it’s so abrupt, but

That thing had me in a rut — what?

Now I know how you feel- trust

Firebird:

How many versions?

Have you put out

Hand painted over

Re-virgined now

Prince:

Three men down —

He wouldn’t last a second, wouldn’t hold account

He couldn’t handle the new dish we throwin’ now

Made himself whole, then spit it out

Man down- get the man down

Four men down

You start to lose yourself in all you’re throwing out

But someone’s emerging — if you’d only focus now

He’s just the one from turnabout

Man down — get the man down

Firebird/Chorus:

It’s the standard drop

When you feel it pop

It will break you off

Man down — when you get a man down

Hunting high and low

Your deliverables

Marking; hide and show

Man down — when you hit a man down

When you get a man down

Prince:

Wow, ain’t it funny seeing you again

Boy, if you didn’t disappear- man, where you been?

What kind of nonsense were you getting in?

The golden boy gone slummin’— wasn’t that something...

You were out looking for — what was it?

No no no- you gave it all up so you could — what?

How’d it go? Guess you don’t need to tell

You wouldn’t be here if it went well

Oh, you just came to say hi? Like hell

Well a lot’s changed round here — you probably thought it all was the same

And that you could just reclaim

‘New kid in the game’

That was years ago, man — now you’re more like middle-aged

So take a number — you’re gonna have to wait

I’ll be damned if I stake you again

Firebird:

How many versions?

Have you put out

Hand painted over

Re-virgined now

The Big Find

Firebird and Prince:

I’m not looking for ‘the one’

I’m not looking for some fun

I’m just looking for someone that’s on some real sh__

Firebird:

Oh my- I know how much you wanna get it right

You behind and you running low on time

Prince:

I’m behind and you running low on time

Firebird:

Big find, and you’d be all right, right?

Prince:

Big find, and I’d be all right — right

Firebird and Prince:

Show me someone that’s on some real sh__

Firebird:

Does it feel out of sorts? You feel like someone else?

It’s just you, man — from all time

With your new shiny bike, at your frst open mic

As the wise one giving this advice

Prince:

Need a mediator

Between me and needy faders

Lock him up then give the dog a bone

As the kick goes bum-bum-bum-bum

‘You forgot me, where’s my yum yum’

Yo, shut your mouth up with the hum drum

Can’t you see I’m climbing, on the up and up

Not you pup pup — get your ass off

I seek the youthful shelter

Is this the way that you greet your elders?

Is this the way that you feed your helpers?

Trigger warning — helter skelter

Young chuck was a sensitive pup

Irregular, but registered — yup

Headphones on and shot ‘em all up

Don’t ban the guns- ban the music, right ______?

Firebird and Prince:

I’m not looking for ‘the one’

I’m not looking for some fun

I’m just looking for someone that’s on some real sh__

Firebird:

Oh my — I know how much you wanna get it right

You behind and you running low on time

Prince:

I’m behind and I’m running low on time

Firebird:

Big find, and you’d be all right, right?

Prince:

Big find, and I’d be all right — right

Firebird and Prince:

Show me someone that’s on some real sh__

Firebird:

Does it feel out of sorts? You feel like someone else?

It’s just you, man — from all time

With your new shiny bike, at your frst open mic

As the wise one giving this advice

Prince:

Eenie meanie miney mo catch a headliner after show

Bottoms up, back of the bus,

It’s Molly, Holly, and a few other ones

Airplane mode on the iPhones got the moms ready to call 911

Here comes the oldest son and his gun

Manager — manager —taking bullets (and that’s not a fguration)

VACATION!

Yeah I’m all over the beats, taking a break from lining up, hiatus

Haters like to fuss — say I’m destined to fail — but I’m Steve Martin in his cell:

Gonna make it, gonna make it, gonna make it, gonna make it

You wanna make it — you better game face it

She got that game face on....

She come down and play it like a playstation

She can take it like a vacation

She can make it heavy like a weigh station

Oh... when this is gettin’ too dramatic

She got that game face on....

She can give a signal like a base station

She can take it like a vacation

She can make it heavy like a weigh station

For that real sh__

Firebird and Prince:

I’m not looking for ‘the one’

I’m not looking for some fun

I’m just looking for someone that’s on some real sh__

Firebird:

Oh my — I know how much you wanna get it right

You behind and you running low on time

Prince:

I’m behind and I’m running low on time

Firebird:

Big find, and you’d be all right, right?

Prince:

Big find, and I’d be all right — right

Firebird and Prince:

Show me someone that’s on some real sh__

Firebird:

Does it feel out of sorts? You feel like someone else?

It’s just you, man — from all time

With your new shiny bike, at your first open mic

As the wise one giving this advice

Firebird and Prince:

Show me someone that’s on some real sh__

Of The Mind

Chorus:

He’s of the mind he’s gonna get it tonight

He’s of the mind he’s gonna get it tonight

Prince:

Gonna get it tonight...

Prince/Chorus:

She keep me running like an outlaw

Last time she left me like a southpaw

Left me with nothing like a withdraw

They always have me playing catch up

They wonder when I’m gonna mess up

Or when I’m gonna need to rest up

Well it’s time for me to ‘fess up

That I appreciate it — bless up

Because you been my trainer

You been the pressure chamber

Like practicing your sprints

In hurricane head winds

Now I’m thinking that it’s gonna happen

Chorus:

He’s of the mind he’s gonna get it tonight

He’s of the mind he’s gonna get it tonight

Prince:

Gonna get it tonight...

I’m always running like an outlaw

She’s always buzzin’ like a chain saw

I always think that I can out — awe

And they all wanna see me fall fat

And I won’t ever get a call back

But now I got it all down pat

They say — you really go through all that???

I think they really need to fall back

And now I got her in my grasp

She got the wings, but I got fast

And so I take a fnal gasp

And I can fly with her at last

Chorus:

He’s of the mind he’s gonna get it tonight

He’s of the mind he’s gonna get it tonight

Prince:

Gonna get it tonight...

Him or Me

Firebird:

It’s him or me, says she

It’s her or nothing, says he

Prince:

Though time can heal, it can also inhibit

When long-convinced ‘is’ turns ‘isn’t’

One true answer just turns another new query

That time is the dirt that will bury

Firebird and Prince:

Trial by fire

Or desire

Design made futile

Hope turned denial

Firebird:

I’ve waited too long he says

Patience, she says, will strengthen

I will show you

I will help you

Chorus:

It’s him or me

Her or nothing

Prince:

How can you be a friend? How can this be help?

How many times must I fnd myself?

M:

I promise that soon she will come into view

And if you can believe it — I’ve given up more than you

Princess Story

Chorus:

It’s survival: sometimes we’re made liars by our dire hearts

Firebird:

How long have I known?

How long have I lied?

He comes as a surprise

I can never see the end

Why should he be any different?

So it is undone

This moment never happened

Chorus:

All the while she burns

Firebird:

Bid him goodbye

Don’t meet his eyes

He’ll understand in time

Prince:

Hold up — you got another thing coming

You think I’d wait around another minute while you running

There and back, there and back

Where you been at? Getting dizzy?

Dodging me you busy bee, you finicky, believe that

They been telling me that you got time for them, droppin’ in

Pull it up and hop in — long as you not destined for my crib

Well what happened to my dibs?

My bids? My promises?

You leave me out to dry like delicates?

Well I’m gonna relish this

Won’t embellish it ‘cause

I can tell that this is

Way surpassed fnished

So I’ll save you from more exhibits

Save me from embarrassment

Make up for the debit

Learn from what’s happened

Not believe someone when they say they meant it

Never expect it

And when that caution sign is lit

Don’t believe a rude girl talking sh__

Firebird:

Strong enough, I can shut it out

Don’t need him, don’t need anybody

Gone are the days that I would worry

About the fantasy of some Prince Charming

They’re Gone....

So, she’ll have her princess story

She’ll have her faerie tale

Strong enough and better without it

And I’ll be winning soon enough, don’t doubt it

So, they’ll have the happy ending

That all the world will share

I’ll be watching but I’m ever gonna want him anymore

Chorus:

It’s survival: sometimes we’re made liars by our dire hearts

Prince:

What would she think if she saw me like this? Would she be in fts?

How would she feel if she saw me with her? A red alert?

Why should I care what she’s thinking now, what she was thinking then, why should I ever

care again?

Why should I ever care again? Why should it ever enter in? No more of this —

it’s got to be done, just wanna be over, finished

Firebird:

So when his heart fnds its home

There with her; I will stay and bide it

Gone are the days when I would fight it

I’ve shouldered him enough, now I’m lightened

See them off.....

So, she’ll have her princess story

She’ll have her faerie tale

All in all, I wish you nothing but magic

And I consider it lucky that I’ve had it

So, they’ll have the happy ending

That all the world will share

I’ll be watching but I’m never gonna want him

Anymore

Infernal Jam

Prince:

Watch me go at it again — she says: you gotta be kidding!

Is it ever gonna end, and if it don’t — wouldn’t that be ftting

Spinning round, peering out, wonder if the crowd was counting

Revolutions — cause my crew’s up in the thousands and I’m getting dizzy

I’m a freewheeler baby — I go off-path

I’m a dirty dog baby — no bath, no bath

I’m an epic one, baby — Iliad, Iliad

Watch me hit those haters with a brilliant at-bat-smash

I’m an activist, baby — I like the fight

A competitor, baby — never die, never die

Not conservative, baby — I’m so above the right

Watch me treat those haters to an SH movie night

You like what you see, irreverence can be entertaining

If I said I had respect would you believe me or blame me

Check my receipts or stake me

Check my degree — graduate me

Casualty, rescueee — what’ll it be —because your walls are caving

Chorus:

We find it all in time

And that’s the mystery

For there’s no ‘now’ or ‘then’

It’s always everything

Prince:

There she goes again, with her hocus pocus shift

Man she had me going, I was on the hook and I believed it

Well her capacity for crazy is extreme

Talking crazy dream team — ‘92 —Jordan, Barkley, and the crew

She don’t wanna give to me green light

‘Cause she afraid of seeing me’s at night

They don’t wanna give to me green light

Cause they afraid of what I dream at night

And they’re afraid that what I dream just might

Come to the stage then haunt their dreams at night

Damn, man — you know I’d love to talk it out

Damn, man — and show you what I’m all about

Damn, man — should we just keep pretending, pseudo

Damn man, you don’t have to answer — kudos

This one’s judgey

This one’s defnitely judgey

They get with their cynic and form a judgey clique

All the conformists love their judgey clique

Firebird:

Find your dream empire

Build it and oh — shield it

Never let inside

Doubters and fear-dealers

Prince:

Overtone, overtone

Go incognito baby- Google Chrome, Google Chrome

I’m on the keynote, baby- speaker phone, speaker phone

I buzz the tower baby, fy-by, fy-by

I’m into magic, baby — ta-da, ta-da

Lets get connected, baby — wi-fi, wi-fi

Watch me give the haters a ride on my scooter bike

I won’t ever stop pushing — no way, no way

Watch me hit those haters with a dose of some Stravinsky

Chorus:

We find it all in time

And that’s the mystery

For there’s no ‘now’ or ‘then’

It’s always everything

Prince:

She said I’d understand in time

But then she said there is no time

So what’s the fuss? It’s all one: past, future, present — all at once??

Just tell me straight up

Cause it’s bad enough

Being led on for months

I thought there was something

What an ugly stunt

Watch me treat those haters to an SH movie night

Watch me give the haters a ride on my scooter bike

Watch me hit those haters with a dose of some Stravinsky

Find your dream empire??

Build it and shield it??

Gimmee the green light

Gimmee the green light

Give ‘em a movie night

Give ‘em a scooter bike

Memento (Berceuse)

Firebird:

Still of the night, through darkness he goes

Free of the fire, but her in tow

All the while, he learns

All the while, he learns

So my watch has ended — the lesson taught

How can I forget him? How can I not?

Chorus:

All the while, she burns

All the while, she burns

Firebird:

How do I know I’ve helped him?

How do I know it was right

The hour is long, so long

When time means nothing

How he’d go on about time...

Prince:

Go on, throw away that memento

The medallion, that fragrant feather, let it go

Ditch the tokens for taking your tempo

You’ve been absolved of that vow, you’re free of her now, time to turn about and see how

You’ve nothing but fortune ahead, take these winnings — invest, if you could just forget

that crone, that sorceress

Free yourself from the torture, it’s YOUR TIME now

Free yourself from the torture, it’s YOUR TIME now

There IS undoing what’s done, there IS a new way, it’s and you the sun and a new day

that always comes — that WILL ALWAYS come — because though time is eternal, time is

NOW, it’s only yours to claim, it’s only yours to fgure out

It’s in a new blink or a new moment- there’s a new instinct there’s a new you— so own it

— motivate — no more waiting

Chorus:

It’s survival

Sometimes we’re made liars by our dire hearts

But he could not forget the fire

Prince:

It only was a glimpse, but I’m grateful for it

We see all the clearer when we see reverent

Finale/Grateful

Firebird:

It was a glimpse, that’s all

But it saw everything

An instant, was all

An instant never ending

How it was over before its beginning

How does it go on, though it’s been over so long

How do the years and the decades and seconds have the same impressions

Because they are ever-present

And they are never -ending

In my rage — in the darkness I fought it

I wanted to hate him for all that he taught me

But to fy through the fre and make it alive

Means to dance with the fames, so

I am grateful

Prince:

It only was a glimpse, but I’m grateful for it

We see all the clearer when we see reverent

I know she’s bonafde — a rare bird

Her fight scheme’s vintage

She decodes the icons on my map, a legend

Her time is never-ending — she’ll be ever present

Guides me through uncharted, past my world’s edges

Showed me through the darkness and the wickedness and fre

But to fy through the fre and make it alive

Is to dance with the fames, so I am so grateful

Firebird:

In my rage — in the darkness I fought it

I wanted to hate him for all that he taught me

But to fly through the fire and make it alive

Means to dance with the fames, so

I am so grateful

Prince:

Her steps tread lightly and her feathers bright

Fantasy luminescence — where will I fnd her fire tonight?

All right