Tony-ony Macaroni, Part 2 : version for string orchestra
by Lyle Chan (2013, this version: 2016)
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Library shelf no. 784.7/CHA 3 [Available for loan]
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From the program note of String Quartet: An AIDS Activist's Memoir in Music.
Tony-ony Macaroni, Parts 1 and 2, are are my tribute to Tony Carden, my fellow activist in ACT UP. He was the most playful of any of us, and had the best sense of humor. He was an actor, had moved from Sydney to New York and was on the brink of a major career but came back to Australia to care for a sick friend. All of ACT UP's demonstrations had a theatrical flair anyway, but Tony brought something only a professional entertainer could. Once, to protest the lack of AIDS beds at St Vincent's Hospital, he led an ACT UP protest that set up a hospital ward, complete with beds, IV drips and nurses on the front lawn of the home of the Health Minister. Tony made me laugh.
His and my outspoken public personas were what people saw. But I wanted to remember his sensitive side, the way he cared for his dog Biche, his surprise gifts and cards to me to sustain our morale, and his extraordinary artwork Warrior Blood. He wasn't a professional artist but it was included in the National Gallery of Australia's exhibition of AIDS-related art in 1994. Warrior Blood was a collection of swatches stained with blood of people he knew, including mine. Tony asked for blood from people he considered soldiers in the war against AIDS. There was HIV+ and HIV- blood on the swatches, and no one was told what was which. My last memory related to him is playing the organ at his funeral, and that shows up in the soaring hymn-like chorale towards the end.
Year: 2013, this version: 2016
Instrumentation: String orchestra.
Duration: 5 min.
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