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ZIPPERZ (World Premiere Recording)

Nathaniel Stookey, Dan Harder, Manoel Felciano, Robin Coomer, Donato Cabrera, Magik*Magik Orchestra
ZIPPERZ (World Premiere Recording)

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The World Premiere Recording of ZIPPERZ is available now everywhere music is sold.

The ZIPPERZ album features a full color booklet with a synopsis and liner notes from composer Nathaniel Stookey. The recording is produced by Nathaniel Stookey with Minna Choi and Andrew Vernon serving as co-producers.

ZIPPERZ, a hip and edgy romantic comedy for two singers and symphony orchestra, is a "dream come true for any lover of music and the written word" (SFist). The album, starring Manoel Felciano and Robin Coomer, tells the story of a love affair from two different perspectives at the same time through "dance numbers, pop ballads, and terse little melodic interchanges" (San Francisco Chronicle).

"Nathaniel Stookey is the composer of the hour," raves 21st Century Music. "With a growing list of compositions that includes The Composer Is Dead with Lemony Snicket, Junkestra for found percussion, and incidental music to Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Stookey has struck it rich again with a brilliant ZIPPERZ. Dan Harder's "zipper" poems provide the libretto, presenting a love story simultaneously from the perspectives of both lovers, in interlocking lines that yield third meanings when combined."

The creative team of ZIPPERZ also includes Donato Cabrera (Conductor), Minna Choi (Artistic Director, Magik*Magik Orchestra), and Jeff Mars (drums).

ZIPPERZ tells the story of two singers at a club that's been there for as long as anyone can remember. Night after night, they put on the same boy-meets-girl routine, but tonight, at intermission, their carefully rehearsed set takes an unexpected turn. The insightful and unique structure of Stookey and Harder's piece– like being inside two people's heads at the same time – brings out the complex he-said-she-said of a blossoming relationship.

ZIPPERZ was commissioned and premiered by The Oakland Symphony, with funding from The Baker Street Foundation.

A note about ZIPPERZ from Nathaniel Stookey:
One of the things that makes music different from a drunken dinner party is that in music, everyone can talk at once and still make perfect sense. Two or more musicians can play different notes in different rhythms – literally against each other, in counterpoint – and yield something that is not only clearly intelligible but also mysteriously enhanced. I had never encountered anything like counterpoint outside music until my friend and longtime collaborator Dan Harder sent me some of his "zippers" – pairs of poems that can be read separately, left and right, or zipped together by alternating lines.

I couldn't resist the temptation to marry Dan's counterpoint with mine, and with a name like ZIPPERZ, it would of course have to involve getting naked. So I asked Dan for a love story that would zip and unzip in as many ways as we could dream up.

The result isn't a conversation. It's more like being inside two people's heads at the same time. You're getting both sides of the story – the he-said in one ear and the she-said in the other – but they're usually worlds apart, on separate channels, so to speak, and in the case of this recording quite literally. (You could pan hard left or hard right and get a very one-sided view of things.)

The other key player here is the orchestra, which is pretty shamelessly flexing its muscle as the biggest, baddest live band on earth. If there is any limit to what a symphony orchestra can do, I have yet to discover it. And though this album is produced to sound in-your-head (if not downright in-your-face), ZIPPERZ is live music through and through. It was commissioned by Michael Morgan and his ever-cool Oakland Symphony and premiered, with Manoel Felciano and Eisa Davis, at the Paramount in downtown Oakland.

View the ZIPPERZ libretto.

View the ZIPPERZ album booklet.
Track Listing
1. Well, isn’t he polite?
2. But, wait, that was a glance…
3. Well, that wasn’t so hard!
4. But I don’t call
5. Well, fella, two can play at that game
6. Hello, it’s… Yes?
7. Any first date is a strange thing
8. Like the two sides of an emotional equation
9. Suddenly
10. Oh, god, this wasn’t supposed to happen
11. We kiss
12. Duet for two cigarettes
13. But now, what do we do?
14. Excuse me, dear
15. Love is blind
16. I’ve thought and thought
17. If