for a bunch of untrained voices, clapping, optional percussion.
not too tough.
Written for Anti-Social Music.
Just before composing this piece, a mish mash of capoeira songs and Christopher Small's ideas on musicking had been simmering vigorously in my psychic crock-pot (what, you don't have one of those?). Capoeira is a martial art created by slaves in Brazil, who, because they had to hide the fact that they were preparing themselves for self- protection/combat, enrobed the activity in something of a song-and-dance routine, with a circle of people playing percussion, clapping, and singing songs. Although I am but a budding capoeirista, the musicking aspect of it has seeped into my psyche very quickly. Musicking is an old term resurrected by musicologist Christopher Small, who insists that music is not a "sound object," a notion the classical tradition has persuaded itself of, but an activity in which the participants "explore, celebrate, and affirm" ideal relationships, also known as values. Once I had decided to compose something "political" for the election show, I realized that the communal call-and-response forms of capoeira songs expressed nicely the values of a democratic republic: we find people to lead us in the game of governing ourselves similar to the way that the instrumentalists in a game of capoeira lead the group in singing and setting the pace of the game. This piece uses excerpts from the Constitution in a somewhat skewed take on call-and-response forms, as a reminder that we need to explore, celebrate and affirm our values as a country more often.
score, full size
score, handy little booklet format!
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