#Writing #MusicMonday: the little prince – a ballet in two acts by The Cartesian Reunion Memorial Orchestra, composed by Lloyd Rodgers

Cover - the little princeLast week I said that Philip Glass would come up again, and as a positive point of comparison. Well, here we are.

I know almost nothing about Lloyd Rodgers, apart from that portion of his music with which I have had time to acquaint myself.

Well, that and the fact that all of his work, compositions and recordings, are explicitly dedicated to the public domain, no rights reserved(!).

I know what you’re thinking: “Okay, he’s a rank amateur, fiddling around with a part-time hobby, his stuff sucks, so he just puts it out for free because nobody’s going to pay him for it.” Or something along those lines.

And you’d be wrong on every particular. Rodgers has been composing, performing, and recording since at least 1975. His compositions, while modern (and thus avant garde to one extent or another) are clearly the work of a mind in comfortable command of music, and knowing what it wants to do with it. And it is of a caliber that I am sure he could sell it to that segment of the market that made possible the careers of Glass and John Cage.

It is solid, professional and, to my ear, very, very good.

Today’s work, the little prince, is the most classical-sounding piece of Rodgers’s that I’ve listened too, heavy on strings, though with a vibraphone bringing in a more modern feel than “classical” or the presence of a harpsichord might otherwise indicate. And given my fairly limited experience with contemporary composers, the only real point of comparison I can make as for sound and mood is an odd one: it reminds me, in feel, of Philip Glass’s more recent score for Universal’s original Dracula film (the one with Bela Lugosi).

I’m not even sure that’s a fair comparison. For starters, I like this album very much, but my one experience with Glass’s Dracula score led me to dislike it — although that was probably mostly because it was badly mixed on the DVD I was watching, frequently overriding the dialogue and ambient sounds in the film. Music wise, however, the two feel related to me.

Another thing that might be keeping me from full appreciation of the little prince is that I have zero familiarity with the children’s book that inspired it.

Nevertheless, this is nearly an hour of truly excellent modern classical music, and it is entirely in the public domain thanks to the composer.

(I’ll note that I’m the one who explicitly put the CC0 license on it, but as Rodgers’s site puts everything into the public domain, I’m only doing it for clarity.)

Download the little prince — a ballet in two acts by the Cartesian Reunion Memorial Orchestra free from the Internet Archive, or get it directly from Lloyd Rodgers’s own website in either WAV or MP3 form.


To the extent possible under law, Lloyd Rodgers has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to the little prince – a ballet in two acts.