The Kaleidoscopic Pocket Hockets Boogaloo by Arthur Gottschalk. For Clarinet Choir, Bass Clarinet Choir. Chamber music, 20th century. Published by Potenza Music (P2.30037).
The Kaleidoscopic Pocket Hockets Boogaloo takes its title from Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," and its inspiration from the literary genre described as "Hysterical Realism." Hysterical realism, also called recherche postmodernism, is a term coined in 2000 by the English critic James Wood to describe a literary genre typified by a strong contrast between elaborately absurd prose, plotting, or characterization and careful, detailed investigations of real specific social phenomena. He used the term to denote the contemporary conception of the "big, ambitious novel" that pursues "vitality at all costs" and consequently "knows a thousand things but does not know a single human being." He decried the genre as an attempt to "turn fiction into social theory," and an attempt to tell us "how the world works rather than how somebody felt about something." The Kaleidoscopic Pocket Hockets Boogaloo uses elaborate and extravagant virtuosity from its performers and their instruments, incorporates styles ranging from Adams-like minimalism to Taj Mahal funk, and cites motives and progressions from works as diverse as "Grazin' in the Grass," "The Horse," and Stravinsky's "Ebony Concerto." But it does not know a single human being.