Saturday, October 22, 2011

A war is over.

At long last the Iraq war is over with all of our troops set to be home in time for the winter solstice.

I did what I could. I signed and circulated petitions. I attended the few and far between protests that a generally disinterested public could muster. I emailed obsessively to my representatives. I composed and posted anti-war songs. I left home for Pennsylvania in 08 and campaigned for Obama (naively believing his anti-war rhetoric). I am proud to announce that all of my efforts amounted to zero.

I am happy this episode in American history is over. I will be happier still when things are wrapped up, allegedly by this coming summer, in Afghanistan.

I wish I could say that a lesson has been learned.

At least now it seems like the youth of this country have woken up. The OWS protest have provided me with faint a ray of hope. I have been down there several times now. It is inspiring to watch history turn once again on it's axis just a few hundred feet from it's last pivot point: The World Trade Center.

One of the most elegant and moving fixtures of OWS is the "mic check". It begins by the orator calling out "mic check". Those nearest to him repeat that phrase and each subsequent thing said after that. The outer circle does the same and thusly the content of the entire speech is disseminated in ever widening circles.

There is a repertoire of defined hand signals that are employed by the audience to indicate generalized responses such as; I like that, I don't like that, I'm confused, that is completely unacceptable and wrap it up.

I have heard varying reports on why the "General Assembly" conducts itself in this fashion. Some sources say that it was originally imposed by city restrictions against megaphones. Others sources say that it is an attempt to humanize the oratory in an Aristotelian fashion and consequently the decision making process as well. Either way, the latter is it's effect.

Some Enchanted Evening

This Sunday we will be introducing a coda that I wrote for I Want You For My Man.  It will be sung rubato and acapella by The Sublime Miss Kosi. I liked how in the original version it ended so abruptly but after a few go's I began to feel like I was cheating the audience. I know the mechanical Broadway tricks of ending a song in a way so that applause is automatic and always endeavor to resist them. But, I also like it when the composer takes me along on the journey and gives me sufficient cues on where and when to show my appreciation. I thought and thought about how to do this. Eventually I took my inspiration from Rodgers and Hammerstein's score of South Pacific, specifically Some Enchanted Evening. After it crescendos, there is a lovely coda which has always moved me, even as a child. I hope you like my version of it.

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