January 21, 2014

Trey Anastasio: "The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday" senior thesis

Some enterprising fan made a copy of the senior thesis written by Trey Anastasio. The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, or Gamehendge as it became known, written in 1988 at Goddard College describes the process of writing the songs for the musical that became an essential part of Phish shows. The piece itself was only performed five times, but songs of the cycle are regular fixtures on their setlists, most recently as part of their show at MSG in New York on December 31, 2023.

The Random House Dictionary defines composition as "The act of combining parts or elements to form a whole" and in this sense, my skills are the skills of a composer. Both musically and lyrically, I approached my senior study from a compositional angle when writing music, I usually keep a pad of manuscript paper with me and record musical ideas when they occur. Later, when I begin work on a song, I will go back to the pad and utilize some of these ideas as I see fit. This semester I decided to expand on this idea, so I purchased a large hardcover book with blank pages that I carried around with me for the entire semester. I wrote lyrics, narrative musical ideas, and observations whenever something would come to me. I then used the ideas in this book to compose the musical. In this paper, I hope to shed some light on that process of composition.

» Gamehendge on Wikipedia

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