DYSTOPIAN SCENES

For String Quartet
A dance fantasy by Daniel Gall

The following story outline and music samples are intended as a proposal for a dance film consisting of six DYSTOPIAN SCENES. If you've found your way to this page, it's likely I've reached out to you as a potential collaborator. Please take a moment to review my materials, and to dream with me about possibilities.

Based on a string quartet I wrote in the Spring of 2022, DYSTOPIAN SCENES is a musical story about being recruited into an exploitive false paradise known as the Machine, and what it takes to set things right. The music runs at about 16 minutes, and I anticipate a 20-ish minute dance film, with sound effects and other action happening between scenes. Please note that only two of the movements have been recorded thus far, and the finished suite is expected to come available later this Fall. But the music is finished, and I've included midi mockups of the unrecorded portions so you can hear the whole thing.

For inquries of all sorts, contact Daniel Gall: dgall.music@gmail.com

Now, without any further ado, please allow me to introduce you to my piece!

Part One: Welcome to the Machine!

Welcome to the Machine!

*Please note: this is a midi recording included for perusal purposes only

Congratulations! You’ve been chosen among a select few to join the Machine! You made it! No longer will you endure such hardship, all that’s behind you now. The Machine will protect and guide you from here on out. You need only trust and let go.

 

Come, our private paradise lies behind a protective Silver Stripe, which serves to keep the miserable world out. Form a line and celebrate with us, your fellow chosen, as we wait for the Silver Stripe to open. But before you enter, heed this warning: The Machine is your decider now, refusal is betrayal, and betrayers shall be struck down like a snake in the fire. But do not fear, for the Machine will decide what’s right. There’s no need to ever refuse.

 

Now, let us dance and celebrate. The Silver Stripe will open for us soon, and our new lives will begin.

Part Two: The Color Wheel

The Color Wheel

*Audio recording by Miguel Vargas Productions

The Silver Stripe closes behind you as you emerge into a sparkly plastic paradise. A giant wheel of all colors is the centerpiece, surrounded by the Ladies of the Machine, and their Gentlemen, all of them overly groomed and sporting fake toothpaste grins. The Ladies and their Gentlemen, it seems, are not chosen, but play a role for the Machine nonetheless. They live at a place called the Rainbow, which is just beyond the Silver Stripe.

 

“Is that everyone?” One of the Ladies asks, looking over the chosen and making sure they’re all accounted for. “Now, let’s get them all sorted.”

 

Spin the wheel, win a prize! The Color Wheel lights up and spins, and each of the chosen take a turn. Everyone is excited and happy, and they’re each taken away as the Color Wheel assigns them a fate.

 

Your turn is next, the future awaits. What color is your fate? Accept it now with a smile, and spin the wheel. Let the Machine decide.

Part Three: Living With a Silver Stripe Against the Sky

Living With a Silver Stripe Against the Sky

*Audio recording by Miguel Vargas Productions

Time stretches and thins inside the Machine, as days and weeks melt into an ever enduring present. The Color Wheel chose your fate. You were placed and put to work, and now, you live with a Silver Stripe against the sky. They call it protective, but it dominates the landscape like a giant bar, and feels more like a prison of silvery colors. The Silver Stripe is the enforcer that can’t be crossed, the guardian of the Machine, and you were placed and put to work. 

 

Welcome to the Machine indeed, for now you realize you’ve become a gear, installed and functional. You are the Machine.

Part Four: Ladies of the Machine

Ladies of the Machine

*Please note: this is a midi recording included for perusal purposes only

The Ladies have come to maintain the Machine, let us honor them on this day of routine maintenance. The Silver Stripe opens to let them in, and they come marching in a line. They fetch a bit of oil for the gears, and do a quick check to make sure the colors are shining bright, and that the wheels are all turning. That should be enough to set us straight for another season. 

 

Stand back and let the Ladies do their work. When they’re finished, the Silver Stripe will open to let them out, and we can all get back to our assignments. It will all be over soon.

Part Five: Big Hole at the End of a Rainbow

Big Hole at the End of a Rainbow

*Please note: this is a midi recording included for perusal purposes only

You hid by the exit and followed the Ladies out of the Silver Stripe, didn’t you? You snuck out and defied the Machine. But what did you think you’d find here? The Ladies and their Gentlemen live at a place called the Rainbow, great mansions on a hillside guarded by a brute force of dangerous dogs. You won’t be welcome there, and there is nothing but a big hole at the end of a Rainbow. It is bleak. There will be no place to hide when the Machine comes to bring you back.

Part Six: Snake in the Fire

Snake in the Fire

*Please note: this is a midi recording included for perusal purposes only

The Color Wheel has landed on black, it is decided. You shall be struck down like a snake in the fire, and used as fuel for the Machine. Let it be your last struggle, with all the other gears in witness. Let them see you writhe and burn, and what happens to traitors. There will be no escape, no chance for mercy. Unless, of course, the others reject their fate. Unless, they decide to join you in the fire, and collectively stomp out the flame. Unless, the gears stop turning, and the Machine grinds to a halt. For then, the Silver Stripe will break apart and fall from the sky, and the chosen will be set free to reclaim their humanity. 

 

As for the Rainbow… Well, they’re the chosen now. But they should celebrate, for the Color Wheel shall decide their fate. Congratulations are in orde