A much-needed new Classical Caber: Morceau No. 8

I think we could all use a little more beauty in our lives, especially after the ugliness of this year’s presidential election (and the potential for what might follow). With that in mind, here is Dirk’s “Morceau No. 8”, the eighth in a series of 12 piano morceaux, none longer than about 3 minutes. Here’s Dirk’s description of the piece:

openquoteOnce subtitled ‘Mysterious’, this composition was the result of an accidental handfall on the piano keyboard one day. The sonority had a distant, rarefied feel; I had a vision of an empty snow-covered field, distant mountains, a misted sun in a grey sky. This piano figuration appears in different guises in a few pieces of mine, notably in the accompaniment to my thematically related song ‘Mysterious Night’ for bass and piano, set to a sonnet by Joseph Blanco White:

Mysterious night, when our first parent knew
Thee from report divine, and knew thy name,
Did he not tremble for this lovely frame,
This glorious canopy of light and blue?
Yet, ‘neath a curtain of translucent dew,
Bathed in the rays of the great setting flame,
Hesperus with host of heaven came,
And lo! creation widened in man’s view!
Who could have thought such darkness lay concealed
Within thy beams, O sun, or who could find
Whilst leaf and insect stood revealed
That to such countless orbs you made us blind?
Then why do men shun death with anxious strife?
If light can thus deceive, wherefore not life?

I think Morceau No. 8 captures a bit of the uncertainty that our country faces right now, and yet provides a certain much-needed peacefulness. Dirk and I hope you enjoy this brief respite from our crazy, unpredictable world.

To hear more of Dirk’s original compositions, check out his SoundCloud page. If you’d like a copy of Dirk’s music on CD — including some exclusive tracks that aren’t on his SoundCloud page — you can get one through our GoFundMe page. (The GoFundMe has officially concluded, but if you’d still like to order an autographed CD, we’d be delighted to send you one!)

Tame Your Man: Adam Tendler & Dirk Caber’s piano/bondage concert

Composer Nathan Hall’s Tame Your Man is a “living music sculpture”, a theatrical work composed for piano, rope bondage artist, narrator, and electronics. The piece premiered in November 2012 in Boulder, Colorado and has since seen several more performances with the NYC-based group Tenth Intervention. Over the course of the work, the pianist gets progressively more bound to his instrument, and the piano writing purposefully reduces the range of motion of the hands on the keyboard. By the last movement, only the outermost keys can be reached.

The above performance, which took place at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore on January 8, 2016, is a condensed version of the piece that was included as part of this year’s New Music Gathering festival. It features Adam Tendler on piano and my hubby Dirk Caber (credited under his real name, Jack Parton) on rope bondage and as narrator. Enjoy.


Text by Mark Mangini:

So here I am, here we are. One tie leads to the next, One tie leads to the next.
and once again I am nothing without you.
This physical restriction emphasizes
purity of communication
predicated on trust. Trust.
In this space we transcend ourselves
and our lives and our words.
How many more times do you need to hear
that love is all we need?

And with you, together, I know only of what I feel; that I can express directly
with no intervention, without artifice.
A half dragging the dead weight of the day from place to senseless place —
But here I learn I can breathe again.
I can think/feel/express with
a clarity that makes no sense in the day
to day world.
You put a hand in mine and I believed.
You spoke and I understood.
We know no ambiguity.
We have created a new reality.

It works as a focus.
One note, one point, a concentration.
The dissonance doesn’t resolve; it ceases to be.
“I don’t need you anymore” transitions to “I am you now.”
We are fused in that heat, dependent on the other to breathe,
to feel, to be.
You do not have to chase after me now because I have given myself up to you,
have put myself in you, am bound to you.
We are one focused point in space.

New Classical Caber: Presenting Alternating Hand Motion, Dirk’s first original composition on his new piano!

Here is the fifth of twelve piano études Dirk wrote for the wonderfully generous folks who donated $500 or more to our successful GoFundMe piano campaign (http://gofundme.com/piano-for-dirk), and the first one he’s sharing publicly… just in time for the new year. Étude no. 5: Alternating Hand Motion is dedicated to Dr. Burt Humburg, a particularly athletic friend of ours from Iowa. The piece is a similarly energetic work which features sweeping runs of notes that eventually require the performer’s arms to swing wildly across each other. Dirk thinks it quite a fitting tribute! We’re posting it with Burt’s permission; in his words, “I’m proud to be a part!”

Thank you once again to everyone who contributed to the GoFundMe campaign. There’s much more to come!

– Jesse and Dirk

P.S. Please note: This is a synthesized recording that Dirk recorded with the music composition software he uses (Sibelius). It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we can do at present in lieu of a professional recording… which we’re working on getting for all twelve études. Stay tuned! Also, click here to read the whole story of the GoFundMe piano campaign… and to hear more of Dirk’s music, visit http://soundcloud.com/dirkcaber.

Piano Party Pic (Crop)

Alternating Hand Motion 01 (708 px)

Alternating Hand Motion 02 (708 px)

Alternating Hand Motion 03 (708 px)

Alternating Hand Motion 04 (708 px)

Proofreading music: A piano GoFundMe update with Dirk Caber

The last few months have been amazing. Since we got the piano — THANK YOU YET AGAIN for everyone who contributed to our GoFundMe campaign to make it possible — there’s been nonstop music in our house. It’s amazing. Dirk plays it for hours every day, and has been furiously composing the piano pieces that were commissioned by wonderful people who donated at least $500 to the campaign. They’re all written at this point, or as Dirk would put it, “They’ve reached a double bar.” He’s still tinkering with them, though, and here’s a brief video peek at part of the proofreading process. Enjoy!

If the video doesn’t play, try putting your mobile device in landscape mode, or use this alternate link.

Classical Caber: A Taste of Things to Come…

As part of the successful GoFundMe campaign to get by hubby Dirk Caber a piano, we offered various “premiums” (CDs, scores, or handwritten manuscripts) in exchange for different contribution levels. Eight people contributed $500 or more… and in exchange, Dirk promised to write each of them a song! He’s been hard at work on those piano pieces in the two weeks since the piano arrived. Here’s a brief snippet of the master in action as he composes on his new piano!

If the video doesn’t play, try putting your mobile device in landscape mode, or use this alternate link.