Vertical Interrogation (of an Ex)

Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal

Listen to: Vertical Integration (of an Ex)


Does intimacy pollute the obligations of an interview? Does spite? Does a score manipulate its audience or just reveal the perspective of the composer? How could I love someone who hates his mother?

I conducted an interview after Bhanu Kapil Rider's The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers, using her twelve questions:

  1. Who are you and whom do you love?
  2. Where did you come from / how did you arrive?
  3. How will you begin?
  4. How will you live now?
  5. What is the shape of your body?
  6. Who was responsible for the suffering of your mother?
  7. What do you remember about the earth?
  8. What are the consequences of silence?
  9. Tell me what you know about dismemberment.
  10. Describe a morning you woke without fear.
  11. How will you / have you prepare(d) for your death?
  12. And what would you say if you could?

For "Vertical Interrogation (of an Ex)," I arranged the recorded interview text and a score of samples. The piece reflects the cringe humor of that relationship and of my attempt to document it.