Dream Cuisine

Dream Cuisine, a setting of the text of the same name by Robert Fitterman, is something of sham cantata. The text combines fragments from the Lewis & Clark journals with menu items from the Union Square Cafe. At first, the music observes these categories by assigning the explorers’ text to the men and the menu texts to the women.  The two kinds of texts are further set apart by the kind of music each group sings:  the women have an intense, chordal (vertical) music while the men sing slower, melodic (horizontal) material.  Sooner or later, the text/gender boundaries start to dissolve, with each group singing parts of the other’s text, in various attempts to find a way for all six singers to sing together. An extended section of musical cooperation among the singers and instrumentalists does finally occur, but only after a frenetic romp through a dreamworld terrain comprising impersonations, quotations, and bastardizations—that is, music from everywhere—interwoven with music from nowhere.