John Mackey's Damn was commissioned by BattleWorks and premiered in May 1998 at the Pace Downtown Theater, New York, NY. Mackey says, "This work was my first collaboration with choreographer Robert Battle. Robert's request was for a short, dark, rhythmic, angry piece, and this was the result. It was great fun to write, although I failed to consider that whatever rhythms I wrote would have to be learned not only by the musicians, but by the dancer. (Robert's choreography is extremely musical, and nearly every movement matches the music.) This piece is a short, exhausting virtuosic trip for both the solo clarinet and the solo dancer. If you listen closely to the very end of the live recording, you'll actually hear the dancer gasp her last breath before collapsing to the floor. Robert is pretty dramatic. This work was used by the United States Synchronized Swim Team this year at The Olympics in Athens. They won the Bronze medal!"
Solo Parts Included: Clarinet, Percussion (four toms, roto-toms, snare drum, China cymbal, crash cymbal, brake drum or steel pipe, bass drum, four timpani)