a surreal musical performance event
feature length instrumental theatre for accordion,
electric bass, and 4 voice female choir
by Jeffrey Kowalkowski [2000]

commissioned by Interzone perceptible

duration: 80'

[first performed: Kunstwerkstatt Bochum / Germany, feb. 23rd/25th 2001]

In summer 2001 Interzone perceptible created a 54 minute autonomous video version of "Cut up or shut up" (available on request)

Jeff (*1967) lives in Chicago, his hometown.  His music is a melting pot of different cultures and listeners have described his music as “eclectic” from his earliest works as a teenager.  In his scores there are graphic elements and traditional notation, performance and theatrical activities are often essential components of his music, atonality shifts to sugar-sweet, cheezy wellness-jazz-breathed on kitsch-tone, often unexpected classic-romantic textures, mixed up in a bizarre way with memories of sentimental pop-music, everything vacuum-imbued by avantgarde-sounds. All these facets of artistic expression skills bubble relaxed and easygoing out of him. Fondly we gave him the title MASTER OF BAD TASTE.


Jeff wrote after CUT UP OR SHUT UP anymore pieces for us.


Jeff wrote about his piece:


CUT UP OR SHUT UP was written in June of 2000 in response to a request from Interzone perceptible for a piece involving "Naked Lunch" by W.S. Burroughs. Using various collage techniques similar to those used by Burroughs in his text, and splices of conversations recorded with people about their own experience of Naked Lunch, I offer this evening's length surreal musical performance event. In addtion to traditionally notated segments and improvisational schemes, the piece includes sections with instructions for sound installations, specific choreography for the instrumentalists and choir, and monochromatic light arrangements. The score is intended to serve as a starting point for a collective group composition, leaving many creative decisions to the performers.