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samuel beckett's

imagination dead imagine


 text by Samuel Beckett - music by Michael Roth

 music/theatre chamber piece for recorded voices, laptop, and string quartet

IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE-1 - Slideshow/trailer of the first 9 minutes

IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE-2 - Slideshow/trailer of the middle section






Three slideshow/videos from IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE,

using the demo (digital) recording of the strings, mixed with the voices

IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE-3 - Slideshow/trailer - excerpt from the conclusion

 In IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE, the string quartet is the protagonist, listening 

and responding to what they hear - akin to Beckett's KRAPP'S LAST TAPE or EH JOE - 


​The string quartet approaches a laptop on a table. Each player in turn, one at a time,

presses the space bar and hears the recorded line,"No trace anywhere of life," -  

and then each player presses the space bar to stop it.  Each member, as they hear the

line, puts on an ear piece (to hear the click track) - and each presses the space bar as often

as needed to make sure they hear everything they need to hear (the click and the voices)

in order to proceed.  This is repeated as necessary until everyone is ready.

Finally, a player presses the space bar one last time, and the piece continues on -
the quartet hears the voices and Beckett's text (essentially a description of an object and

a set of instructions and directions) - and plays the music set before them,

as that is their response - -


lots of pro tools editing on the voices in the first 8 minutes - click to enlarge

For more details about the piece, click here.

For the complete Beckett text, click here.  


For the complete score, click here.


For further information, please contact the composer.

Thanks to the actors whose voices are featured on the

recording: Marco BarricelliJessica Jean Erwin, Robert Joy

and, from the Stratford Festival, Geraint Wyn Davies

Dion JohnstoneSeana McKenna, and Lucy Peacock - 


Thanks to Mr. Beckett for, among many other things,

permission to compose this piece many years ago.

Samuel Beckett on vacation in Morocco, 1978

photo by Francois-Marie Banier

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