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Coming Together

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Coming Together

Seattle Modern Orchestra performs the politically engaged music of  Christian Wolff and Frederic Rzewski.

Tickets: $15 adv/ $20 dos/ $10 students (at door only w/ ID)

Changing the System is a two-part indeterminate work aiming at giving a democratic way to play music to the performers. Part I explores the creation of a melody and its accompaniment, the second part features everyday objects as percussion and a text by Tom Hayden, the former student activist, from an interview published in Rolling Stone in 1972.

“Well don’t make the same mistake we that we made, of thinking that the Peace Corps or the New Frontier was the simple answer, that you could find a place for yourself in there and use new, modern imagination to solve the problems of the poor people of the world, because that would be a misreading of the possibilities of working within the system. It’s the system itself that sets the priorities that we have, that distorts the facts, that twists our brains and therefore the system would have to be changed in order to change priorities and to make it possible for to really see what’s happening. That’s the danger.” – Tom Hayden

For more on Wolff, check out Sound American‘s The Christian Wolff Issue.

While Coming Together driving and hypnotic minimalism supports a text by Sam Melville, an inmate who was killed during the Attica state prison riot in 1971.

“I think the combination of age and the 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. I 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, 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

For more on Coming Together, check out Michael Lewanski‘s essay On Frederic Rzewski’s “Coming Together”

For more on Rzewski, check out Michael Schell‘s article, Frederic Rzewski at 80: Directions Inevitable or Otherwise , on Second Inversion’s blog.

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