How to be a Deep Thinker in Los Angeles


Program Note

At the beginning of 2009, I wanted to write a solo percussion piece, and to ease my way into it, I decided to use spoken text. Kendall A. wrote a sestina called “How to be a Deep Thinker in Los Angeles,” and with permission I was able to use it.

A sestina is a highly-structured poem form consisting of six six-lined stanzas followed by a tercet for a total of thirty-nine lines. The same set of six words ends the lines of each of the six-line stanzas, but in a different order each time. These six words then appear in the tercet as well.

This structure creates a cyclical poem, and therefore, the poem creates a cyclical piece. Each percussion instrument is specifically used to match certain events in the poem, and the listener can track the rotations.

About Jennifer Jolley

Jennifer Jolley (b. 1981) is a West Texas-based composer of vocal, orchestral, wind ensemble, chamber, and electronic works. ​Jennifer’s work draws toward subjects that are political and even provocative. Her…