The Binary (solo piano)
by Nardi Simpson (2020)
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The Binary emerged from reflections on the Black Lives Matter protests and the situation of being a First Nations woman in Australia in the 2020s. 'In conversations around colonisation, reconciliation, deaths in custody, treaty, the Statement from the Heart, and other initiatives and campaigns, the black voice is oftentimes reduced to statistics, the health and wellbeing of our communities converted to data. For The Binary, I translated eight sayings chanted by Aboriginal people in protest marches into binary code: Always Was Always Will Be; Sovereignty Never Ceded; Treaty Now; Pay the Rent; No Justice No Peace; They Say Justice We Say Murder; Too Many Coppers, Not Enough Justice; Black Lives Matter. These sentences reflect the realities of First Nations people in Australia, they are our cross-cultural truths, raised and rallied against the systems of power and control. I used the code from these sayings to create eight musical layers. My hope for the piece was to create an Indigenised sonic environment, composing a relational landscape for the listener in which the aspirations and frustrations of First Nations protest overflow.'
Duration: 5 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by ABC Classics.. Commissioned as part of the ABC’s Fresh Start program
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