Background Music for Fundraising Event
Instrumentation: Full Orchestra - 3 Flutes, 3 Oboes, 3 Clarinets in Bb, 3 Basoons, 4 Horns in F, 3 Trumpets in C, 3 Trombones, Tuba, 3 Percussionists, Harp - Tuned a quarter-tone lower, Piano, Strings
First performance by Tongyeong International Music Festival Orchestra - 14.09.2011, Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall (South Korea)
The piece is based upon testimonies of human suffering from different parts of the world. The testimonies are being read by the orchestra members, being a contrapunctal action to their instrument playing.
The starting point of the piece was a criticism of the way we listen to human suffering. As the first section of the piece is built – we have too many testimonies read in parallel and we cannot really listen to any of them. The human suffering becomes background music for the conscience clearing which leads to a Catharsis. The experience of the orchestra members – reading such horrible testimonies without being heard – may affect as well the pure musical process occurring.
After I had finished the first section, I have understood that my criticism is not directed outside towards the society, but rather inside. I acknowledged the fact that by trying to express this message in music I am doing exactly the same action as the fundraising event’s visitors – only clearing my conscience without truly listen or act in any way.
In this section there is only one text read at once in every point, but now the text is not understandable, as it is not written in any known language. I believe that when we really listen to human suffering, we understand that we cannot understand.
The second part culminates in the sentence “This art is quite useless” which refers to the introduction of Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.