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Composed and Performed by Kevin Buckley

Inspired by the Tom Otterness sculpture

Both Tom Otterness’ “Kindly Gepetto” and Kevin Buckley’s musical interpretation nod to the complexity of Gepetto’s intentions in the story, Pinoccio. Otterness’ sculpture is a large round bronze figure who is crafting an identical figure in his hand with a mallet. Both figures are childlike - almost innocent looking.

Buckley’s musical score shares a similar aesthetic. The piece is almost cartoonish in tenor and sounds as if might be a slightly more lethargic cousin of Raymond Scott’s “Powerhouse.” I can easily hear the track back a Looney Tunes cartoon of a toy manufacturing company.

However, both pieces hint at something a little more ominous. The larger of the two figures in Otterness’ sculpture is frowning while preparing to to strike the smaller figure with a mallet. Its unclear to me what the frown suggests - perhaps danger, caution, sadness, or maybe even anger.

Buckley’s score has darker overtones as well. There is a jarring percussive edge to the score that hints of the sound of grinding of machines - like a caucaphonous toy factory cranking out toys by the thousands.

Perhaps both pieces ability to contrast innocence with danger suggest a bit of a cautionary tale of the potentially outcomes between man (Gepetto) and machine (Pinoccio). After all, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Chris Grabau
St. Louis 2014


from 38​.​627​,​-​90​.​194, released July 1, 2014
Composed and Performed by Kevin Buckley



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Commonwealth St Louis, Missouri

Commonwealth, founded by artists Benjamin Kaplan and Chris Grabau and, “is an approach to making art that comes in response to our surroundings,” says Grabau. Kaplan adds, “St. Louis is a city of neighborhoods, both geographically and psychologically. We live in our neighborhoods. And we see Commonwealth as a way to expand that neighborhood.” ... more

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