Job: Call and Response Frank Koustrup

“Job” is a two-part, spoken-word composition. The first section, “Call,” layers text from job application letters. The second part, “Response,” layers text from replies to those application letters. All of the replies are negative. From the murmuring voice leaps phrases, mostly the clichés of a job search. These phrases attempt to explain the value of a Fine Arts degree. After recording “Call,” the composer, with horror, realized that he had written every damned word of those letters: pages and pages of self-promotion, explanation, appreciation for tiny mercies such as an occasional smile. The mid-1990s in Montreal were a particularly nasty time to seek paid work. The economy fell perilously close to depression. The provincial government promised magic wands in every pot if Quebec separated from Canada. You couldn’t look along any street in Montreal without seeing “À Vendre” and “À Louer” signs. You simply could not buy a job. Another year-and-a-half would pass before the composer could take a break from talking about himself and get down to work.

Source: CEC / Concordia Archival Project (CAP)

  • Year of composition: 1995
  • Genre: Electroacoustics
  • Format: Fixed media
  • Duration of the submitted work: 3:42
  • Production: Concordia University

Linked project

  • CAP
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