Piece 43 For Now : chamber orchestra
by Cathy Milliken (2020)
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Outrage, loss, thankfulness, aloneness, sense of community, a welcome sense of fragility and even exhilaration have marked the last months for me in the events since March 2020. The need for change - societal addressing inequality and environmental - I feel are most urgent. How does change come about? "Temporal Distancing" or looking to the future is apparently the tool we should employ and Slavoj Žižek's call for a new societal and international re-organisation, an alternate society come to mind as does Heiner Müller's letter to Robert Wilson as he expresses the belief "there is no revolution without memory". I decided whilst in the middle of writing to structure the piece by 7 short eruptions or shots in memory of Jacob Blake who was shot seven times by police on August 23rd 2020 in Kenosha.
Underlying writing this piece for orchestra was an overall quest to musically highlight the individual and their communities during this time and I feel grateful and privileged to be given the opportunity to write now for real live people in a concert hall. I have felt states of flow, exhilaration but also of transience and have no answer except to throw ourselves into the maelstrom of events and swim together overcoming inertia and fear to bring about change for the better.
The initial inspiration for this work was the Sonnet 43 of Shakespeare, which delves into the contradictions of love, into the brightness of night. However, this work has somehow found its own way through all that surrounds us, me, for now.
Instrumentation: Large Ensemble
Duration: 15 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Donaueschingen Musiktage
Performances of this work
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