Rand Snell Electronic Compositions

Remember Denny

Denny Walker and I were each other's first boyfriends when I was an undergraduate at the University of South Florida. But he struggled with being gay, and eventually married. I saw him only once after that, before I moved to Europe for graduate studies. For many years I didn't want any contact. When I did try to find him he had disappeared, and his parents' number was no longer listed.

When I moved back to the Tampa Bay area in 2006, I met and briefly dated an artist, Todd Richardson, who one night showed me an older work featuring a handsome, sick man of about 40, with hauntingly familiar eyes. It was Denny; he had died of AIDS-related illness 10 years before. He and Todd had been together before Denny's death. That was how I learned what had happened to Denny.

Shortly afterwards, when I returned to the University of South Florida for music studies, some 30 years after I had played piano for Denny in some of the same music rooms, I was haunted by the memory of those brief, happy times. This piece, produced in the University's SYCOM analog studio, reflects those feelings. It utilizes manipulated found and intentional sounds… a propane gas tank being struck, ripping paper, recorded street noise, my own voice… in this remembrance of love and loss.