An Inopportune Time

Program Note

Lawrence Cherney of Soundstreams Canada asked me in 2013 if I would be interested in composing a piece based on a melody by R. Murray Schafer.  The melody is just seven notes, a musical transcription of his surname: Eb-C-B-A-F-E-D.  In a surprisingly straight line this project led from Schafer’s name to the idea of a soundscape, and then on to recording the sounds of kids on my backyard skating rink, recording crowd noises and the thudding impacts of a physical Midget hockey game at a local arena, researching quotes by Don Cherry [that didn’t’ make their way into the piece but which were helpful nonetheless], viewing old clips of a Montreal Canadians and Boston Bruins game that took place on March 10, 1979 and enjoying Danny Gallivan’s colorful play-by-play of that game.  From these audio sources I made a 7 beat loop that serves as mostly a rhythmic backing track.  Recurring in the loop is a child’s voice saying “drop ‘em”, a clear challenge to a fight.  Interspersed here and there are sound bites of Danny Gallivan’s play-by-play. 


Dramatically, everything spoken in Danny Gallivan’s play-by-play and the child’s challenge to “drop ‘em” applies both to what happens on the ice but more importantly to our main character’s multitudinous love interests and the headaches that go with leading such a complex life.


 An Inopportune Time was commissioned by Larry and Donna Smith and the proceeds were donated to Soundstreams’ 2014 fundraising campaign. 



Is there such a thing as too many men?

Is there such a thing as too many men?

Should I drop one, drop two, drop three or four or five of them.

I have too many men in my life.

They’ve been caught, caught, way out of line.

That’s right, it was a terribly, a most inopportune time

Inopportune time, Inopportune time,

There’s too much…

Inopportune time,

There’s too much pressure,

Oh, Larry,

Oh Serge,

Oh Kenneth,

Oh Bob,

Oh Guy,

Oh Guy,



My Ginger?


Paul Frehner, with inspiration from my son Kevin and from Danny Gallivan