Sunday, December 13, 2009

PA Arts Sunday - Bamyan Voids Progress

I've got to write a lot of music over the Holiday break.

The Anchorage Civic Orchestra will present the premiere of Hindu Kush, my new orchestral work, on May 14th. The music is pretty much constructed as far as I can inside of my mind. I have about 18 minutes of it memorized, yet most of it hasn't left the inside of my head.

Hindu Kush will be my most extensive "protest work" of classical music since Two Rivers, in 2006.

Below is a set of facing pages from the score of Sphinx Island Elegy, my first credible work of protest music. It premiered in Anchorage in October 1989, and was the first serious attempt in the fine arts to express the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

It was the last big piece I wrote out by hand:

At the same time I was writing it, I was investigating the new tools available to composers through computer notation and sequencing programs. In 1990 I purchased Finale, which I figured might become a major product.

Here's a shot of progress on Bamyan Voids, the first movement of Hindu Kush. It describes the utterly stupid destruction in 2000, by Taliban adherants, of the Buddhist statues at Bamyan, at the southwest edge of the Hindu Kush.
The other movements will be Woman's Ghazal (praising Afghani women artists), Reapers and Predators (protesting automated warfare) and a Mountain Song from the eastern part of the Hindu Kush, begging God for peace.


Anonymous said...

what about the utterly stupid Christians who destroyed ancient Greek and Roman statues?

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 12:47 - nobody's stopping you from writing it, are they?

Anonymous said...

When the Taliban had the means and access to control women, they did by keeping women off the streets, out of schools, and out of sight.

Gay marriage is a contract to be publically beaten, raped and then stoned.

Women who dared to step out of line were beaten, raped and or stoned (real stones, not the drug).

If the Taliban had access to Jews, they would have been beaten, raped or stoned.

If the Taliban had access to Gypsies, they would have been beaten, raped or stoned.

Buddhist temples were destroyed, probably for the access to stones to beat, rape and stone anything that walked, crawled, breathed, ate, and had an original thought that didn't jive with the oppressiveness of the Taliban regime - ie Islamo - Fascists.

Nice to see we can weep at the rocks of statues being torn down, and remain basically silent on the murderous monsters that conscript a gender into slavery.

Kudos to you for writing music about the rocks - maybe you can follow up on the enslaved women hidden from view under the veil.

Let us know when you unveil that music - hopefully some themes that send a message to those hidden under the veil that the enlightened Westerners have not forgotten there faces, even though we can't see them and they would be beaten, raped and stoned if they offered any Westerner the chance to see their smiles on their faces.

PTSD - a luxury in the West when in other places under the Veil it is Continuing Everlasting Neverending Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Philip Munger said...

I'm not writing the music about the rocks so much as about the void left in the spaces where they had been, after their destruction. I ask "What is that void, is it really a void?"