Gautango (Waltz-Tango? Tango-Waltz?) (2007)

for solo piano and gun ad lib

Dedicated to Aryan Kaganof and Nicola Deane

Publisher: Bardic Edition

Published in: Collected Shorter Piano Pieces Vol 2 (2015) – Bardic Edition BDE 954. Score available separately as BDE 1023.

Duration: 3 minutes, 15 seconds

Programme note

Gautango (Waltz-tango? Tango-waltz?) was part of the original score for Aryan Kaganof’s cell phone movie SMS Sugarman, but along with much of the score never found its way into the 2008 re-edit. As it would have been the ‘love theme’, I made a virtuoso piano transcription for Kaganof and Nicola Deane as a wedding gift. It occurred to me that there is a cross-rhythmic waltz element which brings to mind the old song by Dick Manning and Al Hoffmann:

I can’t tell a waltz from a tango

I never know what my feet are gonna do

Oh I can’t tell a waltz from a tango

Darling when I dance with you.

Gautango may be presented as music theatre with the pianist shot before the final bars, a logical scenario for a Gauteng-inspired tango, with one of the following two options:

The performer may draw a gun (loaded only with blanks, and discreetly concealed on her/his person or inside the piano) in bar 91, and fire it into the air on the first beat of bar 92. The stage should be plunged into darkness immediately. In the case of such a scenario, the last three bars are not played. The pianist may choose to wear appropriate evening dress for the performance (white tie and tails for men, spectacular gowns for women).

A further possibility is that a gunman (armed with a gun loaded only with blanks, and discreetly concealed on his/her person) may approach the stage, walking stealthily down the aisle during the performance, arriving on the stage, and “shooting” the pianist on the first beat of bar 92. In this case the stage should also be plunged into darkness immediately, and the last three bars not played.


Dramatic works