for a bunch of untrained voices, clapping, optional percussion.

not too tough.

Written for Anti-Social Music.

ca. 7'


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!

Do consider making a donation (of any amount, but let's say $5), if you choose to perform this piece, make copies of it, use it for educational purposes, if it has improved your life in any way. Otherwise, yes, it's yours for free. It is copyrighted, so give credit as necessary.