begins with a dark, sombre counterpoint which emerges
from the opening sound of the slow-breathing bellows.
Various interjections begin to disrupt the music's flow.
These appear in the form of musical clichˇs and other
stylistic gestures which gradually become more extended
and prominent, ultimately becoming the basis for a riotous
tangoesque section in which music hall, circus and Greek
dance collide with snippets of Bach and Mozart. A slow
chorale-like epilogue ends the piece.
exactly 'no time for plot', Mortal's reliance upon novelty
and set-piece 'turns' or 'gags', which have a disruptive,
anti-narrative effect, reveals the music's anarchically
comic structure. Joke-free zones are few and far between
- even the title refers ambiguously both to death and
(in slang) a state of alcoholic intoxication. The Groucho
dedication on the scores indicates the composer's enthusiasm
for early sound comedies and the 'vaudeville aesthetic'
- sources of inspiration for a number of his other works
which combine 'live' instruments and recorded sound,
such as the orchestral fantasy Zapped! And the 'space
age mini-opera' Junk Male.