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Works » By Title » N » Nurse (26:30 / 1981)

Barbara Golden

In the late 70s I was hired as an accompanist (piano) for a stage production which is better left unnamed. The director gave me a cassette recording of the songs with piano accompaniment by the composer. On the flip side was something strange, a young student nurse reading aloud the notes on this cassette. It was so very ironic to hear her very dispassionate and monotone voice reading and parroting these grisly diseases and illnesses with no expression whatsoever. I sat on that tape a long time determined to use it. I juxtaposed actual lovemaking sounds with the text of the nurse to give it some emotionalism. The vocal emissions are by percussionist William Winant and are used to denote pain. The lines between pleasure and pain are very thin and mysterious, are they not? BG

  • Studio: Center for Contemporary Music Studio, Mills College (Oakland, California, USA)
  • Premiere: Music Gallery (Toronto, Ontario)

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