Year composed: 2013
Instrumentation: amplified solo viola, fixed media
Duration (approx.): 7′
Commissioned and premiered by Andrew Stiefel of the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble.
Premiered during March Music Moderne IV on March 8th, 2014 at Audio Cinema in Portland, Oregon.
Fixed media part (CD) is available from the composer upon request.
As I was composing this piece, news of the NSA PRISM scandal was beginning to unfold. The revelations brought forth by Edward Snowden both shocked the general public and confirmed long held suspicions by those in the margins. The secret information unrestricted by the near-iconic government redaction shed light on a security apparatus run amok, unchecked, fueled by a currency of fear in the name of national security. With this as a backdrop, I began conceiving a piece with which I wanted to use to work out feelings of self-censorship, of what it means to be watched, spied upon, to convey impressions of what it means to withhold ourselves out of fear of unjust persecution.
What we hold within – whether out of fear, necessity, social custom, or ineffable reason – we assimilate into the fabric of ourselves. Our memories and experiences inform the basis of our sense of self. The traces we leave around us – our interactions, words, photos – become the fabric of our lives – our outer sense of self. Our experiences frame the symbiosis of our inner world with the world as it appears, and along this process emerges our lives, experienced.
If nothing else, [REDACTED] is about what we withhold within ourselves from the world, as we abide the passage of time, tracing ourselves onto the world.
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