Generation after generation (quintets: saxophone, piano, violin, viola, double bass with pre-recorded sound)
by Robert Davidson (2008)
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Composed for Newspeak Ensemble in New York for performance on the 2008 US Election night. The ensemble wanted a piece using Sarah Palin's voice, but I thought she was so good at satirising herself that I would seek a different angle on the woman who came scarily close to vice presidency. There were reports of Ms Palin subscribing to views such as creationism, in which the Earth is believed to be 6000 years old and the 6-day creation story in Genesis is taken literally. I remembered a particularly zealous creationist I used to meet from time to time growing up in Brisbane (mostly when he would visit my school) in the '80s. He has gone on to bigger things, moving from Brisbane to Kentucky to found and direct a $30 million "Creation Museum" in which displays depict sauropods boarding Noah's Ark as scientific fact. His voice is my connection to the US election, and various angled portraits are made of Mr Ham through his recorded speech, treated as melody in various settings.
Instrumentation: Alto/soprano saxophone, violin, viola, double bass, piano, audio track (played on CD).
Duration: 8 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Synchronised with recorded speech
Dedication note: Dedicated to David Little and Eileen Mack
Commission note: Commissioned by Newspeak Ensemble.
First performance: 4 Nov 08. Election Night Party, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, New York, New York, USA
The composer cites the following as influences on the work: Martin Wesley-Smith, Creationism, Sarah Palin, US politics, Barack Obama, speech-melody music, polystylism, country, rockabilly, house, mambo, tango, fundamentalism, Brisbane, Queensland, Christianity, evolution, education, child abuse, spoken word, Scott Johnson, Michael Daugherty, Leon Janacek, Frank Zappa, Red Symons, Hermeto Pascoal, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Jason Moran, Christopher O'Riley
- Has as subject/About: Satire
Performances of this work
4 Nov 08: Election Night Party, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, New York, New York, USA
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