Bainbridge

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Modern composer from Chicago who graces a few pages in the surreal, oddball 1945 novel The Memoirs of a Shy Pornographer by Kenneth Patchen.

He plays his latest composition, "Splitting the Up-And-Attem."

"I need not tell you Mr. Bainbridge is one of our most promising young percussionist composers."

I was surprised to see the man who had called me Charlie walk over to a huge piano and take the top off it.

"I never heard of no composer Bainbridge," someone whis­pered.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bainbridge in his latest com­position, 'Splitting the Up-and-Attem.' "

Mr. Bainbridge took a lot of nails and nuts and bolts out of his pocket and put them somewhere inside. Then he took off his coat and unbuttoned his shirt. He turned around to smile at everyone but suddenly in the middle of it he brought both his elbows down so hard on the keys that some of them popped out and it sounded like a hardware store falling down­stairs. He smiled at everybody again. Then he started to kick the front of the piano with his feet and pound inside the top with a big wrench. Now he stood on the keyboard and jumped up and down . . . all at once starting to yell very hard. After a short while the whole front of the piano caved in and he started to rip out the strings. When he was all done he turned around and smiled at everybody once more.

I saw that our hostess had a sort of a funny look on her face but she smiled too.

And one young man with very wild eyes began to clap his hands and yell even louder than Mr. Bainbridge.

As soon as my ears worked again I heard some people talking...