KacMac Bile Bach
[ Issue 33 ]

Emily Bronto is without doubt an admirer of KacMac Bile Bach

Permit Bikwil to acquaint you with the fascination of KacMac Bile Bach

KacMac Bile Bach

Fizzgig this time takes us to Scotland, where we meet a hitherto overlooked Bach family member.  None other than "KacMac" Bile Bach.

KacMac did manage, however, to dream up several small culinary works plus three or four equally slight musical ones.

[ Print This Issue ]  

[ Help with Printing ]

 Music Player 

From the Back Verandah — Fizzgig


As you all know, P.D.Q. Bach (1807-1742)? was the obscure 21st of Johann Sebastian’s 20 children. His large and varied oeuvre first came to light in 1954, thanks to the untiring exertions of American academic Peter Schickele.

According to the official Web site,

[t]hese efforts have even extended themselves to mastering some of the rather unusual instruments for which P.D.Q. liked to compose, such as the left-handed sewer flute, the windbreaker, and the bicycle.

Primarily, though, Schickele has spent decades excavating, restoring and performing the unique compositions of this eccentric composer. In her The Tin Voice Laughed (Issue 10, November 1998), Olive Conduit mentioned three — The Civilian Barber, Hansel and Gretel and Ted and Alice (an Opera in One Unnatural Act) and Fanfare for the Common Cold. Equally picturesque are

Erotica Variations
A Little Nightmare Music
Missa Hilarious
The "Trite" Quintet
1712 Overture.

But even less well-known than P.D.Q. was his Caledonian cousin. Often unofficially referred to as “KacMac”, this distant relative’s real name was Kenneth Archibald Campbell mac Bile Bach. He eked out an existence as a cook-cum-musician in Edinburgh some time in the mid 18th century. Not as prolific as P.D.Q., KacMac did manage, however, to dream up several small culinary works plus three or four equally slight musical ones.

One of the latter was his Dance Suet in C, subtitled Octet for Solo Haggis and Seven Absentee Woodwinds. As you can see from the bassoon part reproduced below, florid it ain’t. But what it lacks in counterpoint it more than compensates for in the noxious minced tripe that constitutes the solo part.

Some critics have discerned in the stomach-churning cadenza a foretaste of 20th century twelve-tone music. Other commentators have actually heard the torment of the bottomless pit itself. (Offhand, I’d say it amounts to the same thing, but who am I to pick holes in editorial chatterings — or inedible chitterlings, for that matter?)

Contents  Read Previous Item
Top of Page

Home | Visitors' Guide | Random Read | Current Issue | Essays & Poems | Catalogues
Site Search
| Likeable Links | Subscriptions | About Us | FAQ | Testimonials | Site Map