Any Resemblance Is Purely Coincidental is a work for live piano and tape. The tape part is based on computer restoration and resynthesis of the 1907 recording of the legendary Enrico Caruso singing 'Vesti la giubba' from Ruggero Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci (1892).
In the course of the work the voice searches for an accompaniment and is heard at different times with the original band, with electronic sounds, with copies of itself, with the live piano, and with combinations of them all. There is a surrealistic, dreamlike aspect to these apparent dislocations. The initial efforts are humorous; as the work progresses other emotions come into play.
The title of the work recalls the standard disclaimer from FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] television dramas of the 1950's. Dodge choose it when assured by RCA Records that he could use the computer renderings of the legendary voice if he made no attempt to exploit Caruso's name or visual likeness.
It was commissioned by the Arts Council of Great Britian in 1980. The computer renditions of the Caruso voice were made by digital signal processing pioneer Thomas Stockham and his student Neil J. Miller at the University of Utah in the early 1970's. The work is dedicated to the memory of Margaret Fairbank Jory, who was executive director of the American Music Center at the time that I was its president.