Mechanical mediation is nothing new. Just as we now methodically alienate ourselves from the real world with the help of phones, tablets, and glasses, Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg conceived of even more amusing and complicated ways to do simple things in a series of cartoons he created between 1915 and ’35. For Goldberg’s Variations, clarinetist Andy Biskin has composed music to accompany a dozen newly animated machines, including “A Modest Mosquito Bite Scratcher” and an “Automatic Sheet Music Turner” (involving a tire pump, goldfish, hat rack, boxing glove, punching bag, and sail). Biskin, who has previously found inspiration in the works of Stephen Foster, reaches back to Johann Sebastian Bach’s own transcendently mechanical Goldberg Variations for contrapuntal... More >>>