David Gunn [composer, writer, isosogist]


Ahmed Lives in Istanbul and Drives a Taxi
SATB chorus with tenor solo (1995)
Initially written as a story with a punch line. Later, I figured there were worse texts to set to music, so I trimmed the verbiage, set it to a fairly straightforward jazzy accompaniment, then presented it to the Bayley-Hazen Singers, who toured Vermont with it.
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crasta nation
3 rappers, SATB chorus, boombox with drum and bass tracks (2007)
Social Band, a Burlington, Vt. vocal ensemble, asked for a song about work. Ascribing to the adage, “write what you know,” my path straightaway led to procrastination. Since the inclusion of the boombox does not require a Union Musician to operate it, I am calling this tune “Unaccompanied.”It’s my text (surprise!).
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Pecos Lil deVille
2 alto voices (1995)
A western swing duo with text by yours truly. Performed once so far by FARCE, the Fairly Amusing Regional Choral Ensemble, a subset of HOOVER, the Humor-Only Orchestra of VERmont.
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12-part chorus (1986)
I was still in my experimental period when I wrote this, which, frankly, is nothing to write home about. The best part, in my view, is that if fits on a single 8½×11 sheet of paper.
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SAATB chorus (1998, rev. 2017)
Employing the text of a poem of the same name by Raymond Carver, the song casts the misunderstood insect in a new, friendlier light.
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Tempest Fugit
SATB chorus with solo (2004)
In 2004, Social Band commissioned 23 Vermont composers to write songs. I chose to write about slugs. The first eight lines of text are from a 1940 poem by Percy MacKaye, a minor American poet. I cobbled together the rest of the text from various other sources, much as a slug is cobbled together from optic and sensory tentacles, pneumostomes, mantles, skirts, and slime.
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Champagne and Other Spirits
2 alto voices (1993)
Written for Two Old Crows, an erstwhile Burlington, Vt.-based duo that sang mostly folk-oriented music. The text comes from  incidents they say they witnessed during their annual co-birthday celebrations.
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SATB chorus with drum machine (1992)
In 1992, the Onion River Chorus solicited Vermont composers to write music using the text to the 137th Psalm (“by the waters of Babylon”). As an ostinato, I used a riff from Iron Butterfly’s 1968 over-the-top psychedelic anthem, “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida.” Then I added a drum machine to underscore the rock sensibility the tune was supposed to have.
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Two Old  Crows
2 alto voices (1994)
Written for Two Old Crows. I wrote the music one day and the words the next.
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SATB chorus (1995)
The text consists primarily of the four stomachs of the cow – the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum, and the abomasum, and abides by the musical structure of the instrumental piece of the same name. (See under Chamber Music.)
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SATB chorus (1995)
Written on the occasion of the 50th birthday of Larry Gordon, director of Onion River Chorus and the Bayley-Hazen Singers.
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2 alto voices (1994)
Likewise written for Two Old Crows. The science fiction theme of the text is carried over into “Two Old Crows,” above.
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