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Cowboy Rounds (2016)

voice, piano, and live electronics, 37′


  • commissioned by the Hellman Foundation

    Cowboy Rounds is a song cycle for piano/vocalist and live electronic processing. This work “remixes” pre-existing source material culled from the John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip, an ethnographic field collection hosted online by the Library of Congress.

    Cowboy Rounds reexamines oral tradition and ownership through the lens of today’s internet-driven free culture movement. The folk recordings within the Lomax archive do not represent a final, unchangeable document, but rather a snapshot of each song, unique to its time, place, and performer. The lack of copyright in these field recordings invites current and future generations of musicians to continue developing the songs, either through digital manipulation of the recorded material itself or reconstructing elements of the recording through live performance. In that sense, Cowboy Rounds is a work deliberately caught between the ideological constructs of permanence and ephemera while building an intersection between new technologies and old traditions.

    I. Christopher Columbo
    II. Peafowl Holler
    III. Worry Blues
    IV. Down by the Rocky Mountains
    V. The Dying Cowboy
    VI. Ox Driving Song
    VII. Home on the Range

  • 12/07/16 | Ian Dicke in Riverside, California | The Culver Center
    Ian Dicke, voice, piano, and electronics
    01/25/17 | Ian Dicke in Riverside, California | University of California, Riverside
    Ian Dicke, voice, piano, and electronics
    01/28/17 | Ian Dicke in Mesa, Arizona | Mesa Arts Center
    Oh My Ears Festival
    Ian Dicke, voice, piano, and electronics
    04/18/17 | Ian Dicke in Cambridge, Massachusetts | The Lily Pad
    Ian Dicke, voice, piano, and electronics
    04/23/17 | Ian Dicke in New York, New York | The Cell
    Tribeca New Music
    Ian Dicke, voice, piano, and electronics
    05/11/17 | Ian Dicke in Bowling Green, Ohio | Bowling Green State University
    New Music Gathering
    Ian Dicke, voice, piano, and electronics
    10/26/17 | Ian Dicke in Orange, California | Chapman University
    Ian Dicke, voice, piano, and electronics
    02/10/18 | Ian Dicke in San Francisco, California | Center for New Music
    Ian Dicke, voice, piano, and live electronics
    03/02/18 | Ian Dicke in Providence, Rhode Island | The Music Mansion
    Ian Dicke, voice, piano, and live electronics
    05/21/18 | Ian Dicke in Pomona, California | Cal Poly Pomona
    Ian Dicke, voice, piano, and live electronics