Coming Together by Frederic Rzewski
 

Archive:

voz Kenji Kishi
Integrantes: Roberto Leos Vásquez (clarinetes) Cynthia Martínez Lira (flauta y composición) , David Navarro (guitarras), René Guerrero (guitarras), Abraham Calva (piano y composición) Janine Jop (violin), Daniel Romo (viola), Rosa Arellano (violincello), Kenji Kishi (contrabajo y composición), Demian Galindo (bajo eléctrico, electrónica y composición)

“I think the combination of age and a greater coming together is responsible for the speed of the passing time. It’s six months now, and I can tell you truthfully few periods in my life have passed so quickly. 1 am in excellent physical and emotional health. There are doubtless subtle surprises ahead, but I feel secure and ready. As lovers will contrast their emotions in times of crisis, so am I dealing with my environment. In the indifferent brutality, the incessant noise, the experimental chemistry of food, the ravings of lost hysterical men, I can act with clarity and meaning. I am deliberate, sometimes even calculating, seldom employing histrionics except as a test of the reactions of others. I read much, exercise, talk to guards and inmates, feeling for the inevitable direction of my life.”   …  Sam Melville, Attica 1972

Commentary by conductor Michael Lewanski:

… thus wrote Sam Melville, inmate at the Attica state prison in upstate New York in the spring of 1971. Crucial to the audience’s perception of this piece, therefore, must be the otherwise un-noted fact that he died in September of the next year, as a result of a wound sustained during prison riots, in which the inmates successfully, if only briefly, overtook parts of the prison and held guards as hostages. The letter was subsequently published, first in a magazine, where it was read by Frederic Rzewski.

composer Frederic Rzewski:

“As I read it I was impressed both by the poetic quality of the text and by its cryptic irony. I read it over and over again. It seemed that I was trying both to capture a sense of the physical presence of the writer, and at the same time to unlock a hidden meaning from the simple but ambiguous language. The act of reading and rereading finally led me to the idea of a musical treatment.”

more info:   www.furious.com/perfect/rzewski.html      a 2003 interview with the composer in which he discusses his genre – at the time called by these composers “contemporary concert music”  contrasted with other categories including mass market rock     there is a whole variety of youtube content about the Attica riots, including self-promotion by Bill Kunstler´s family (one of the lawyers for the prisoners) and a Morgan Freeman movie of course.

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