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Decline and Demise of Figure Skating
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The Decline and Demise of Figure Skating in North America

Format: Audio CD, remastered off DAT tape
Date: 1994 (CD remastered 1997)
Software/Hardware: Passport Encore (scoring), Passport Master Tracks Pro (sequencer), 386 PC running Windows 3.1, Roland SC-7 general midi sound module

◄ Compositions List


Disclaimer: all persons portrayed in the story or music of this CD are fictitious, even when based upon vaguely similar real life situations. All my music is naturally fictitious in nature, and I have no money if you sue me regardless.

Now that I've reveled in paranoia… In "The Decline and Demise of Figure Skating in North America," a fictitious figure skater, "Tonya," who had a boyfriend, "Jeff," who had a friend, "Shawn," all get in trouble when "Jeff" hires one of "Shawn's" friends to break the legs of "Tonya's" biggest skating rival, "Nancy." The thug fails, only bruising her knees while causing her immense pain.

In this completely fictitious story, both Tonya and Nancy were supposed to skate in the Olympics that year, but the attack on Nancy threw the whole plan out of whack. Ill-conceived, its surrounding characters became soon known, and a big media circus enveloped the entire world of figure skating, usually reserved for a vaguely snobby elite cadre of temperamental athlete-artists. Twists and turns happened daily, if not weekly. Whole populations were kept glued to television (rather than pasted to it, which was the usual sticky situation). All wondered what would happen next in this soap opera of sport and black and blue.

Some bigwigs in the Olympics put Tonya on trial, while Jeff went on trial in a criminal court. He went to jail, and Tonya broke up with him. Shawn faded from the picture. Nancy healed to skate another day.

The Olympic court ruled Tonya could participate and skate in their big Norwegian event that winter, because they determined the evidence was such she was apparently just an innocent victim at the mercy of the other players in the drama. However, one day, while practicing her triple klutzes in a park in Portland (did I mention Tonya lived in Portland?), an angered member of a secret society that her ex-boyfriend's friend Shawn belonged to came up and clonked Tonya on the head, sending her to that very large ice rink up in the sky.

See!?, this story doesn't end anything like any potentially similar story that may or may not have happened might have ended if it had taken place.

This piece was a lot of fun to work on, as it inspired me to try exploring kinds of music that I didn't have any background in (I am a mostly-classically trained pianist, but I like all styles of music). The limits of the Roland sound module (SC-7) are so in evidence to me by now, the strings sounds really suck. The piano is not realistic, but recognizable for what it is supposed to be. If one were to be listening to these sounds for hours on end, I guarantee you that they will become bearable, and really start to sound to you like something other than what they do; distance from them gives a perspective on what they really do sound like.

There are several complete tracks in the samples on the right. And one of these, "Tonya's Nightmare," was the theme music for a documentary video produced here in San Francisco geared to informing all about the unfortunate practice of male circumcision in our culture. The producer renamed it "Tony's Nightmare" for his use, and it was shown on our local PBS station, KQED-TV (and others), in 1995 or '96. I felt like a real celebrity for five seconds, seeing my name roll across the ending credits (Andy Warhol would have given me fourteen plus more minutes!). The title of the video is "Whose Body, Whose Rights?" It is nowadays available on DVD. My opinion is it is really worth viewing; genital mutilation of infants for ANY REASON is ALWAYS bad, and torture. It is also very uncool to attack ice skaters.

CD Art, Gear, and Further Information:

Roland SC-7:

Early Roland SC-7 Sound Module

Track Listing and Files

Track 1: Don't Call Today's Dance Music Disco

Track 2: Tonya

Track 3: Media Circus

Track 4: Shawn's Theme

Track 5: Jeff's Goin' to Jail (What'll Tonya Do?)

Track 6: Portland Practice at the Mall

Track 7: Préludes sehnsüchtige et anciens (note: also on the CD "Piano Nerd")

Track 8: Just a Boy Toy

Track 9: Tonya's Nightmare

Track 10: Samba de Gwan' to Norway

Track 11: Olympiad at Lillehammer

Track 12: Inquisition

Track 13: I Can Skate!

Track 14: Conscience—What Goes On Inside Tonya's Head

Track 15: March of the Judges

Track 16: Finale Featuring "Rigaudon" by Ravel

Track 17: Postscript and Tonya's Taps/Death in the Park

Rev. 2015