To Awaken the Sleeper
Instrumentation: orator and orchestra
NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER; THIS PRODUCT WILL SHIP IN FEBRUARY 2024
From the composer:
The insightful and prophetic words of James Baldwin have always been a source of solace for me, and never more so than during the last few years as the country has been forced to grapple with its identity. When commissioned to write a piece for Peter Oundjian and the Colorado Music Festival in 2020, it felt like the perfect opportunity to amplify his words. James Baldwin sought to bear witness to the country that birthed him and hated him, a country that murdered his friends (Evers, King, X) for speaking out against injustice. Despite the pain of those wounds, it is evident that, although Baldwin didn't hesitate to hold our deeply flawed society to account, his words were rooted in an impossible love of this country. Though they were written decades ago, his words still ring true. Today, Baldwin asks us to look in the mirror and reckon with what we see. He asks us to examine the nature of power and its dependence on human will and desire. He asks us to go to "the unprotected" among us in order to examine our supposed love for justice. I like to think that if he were to reword his proposal today, he would include the immigrant, the refugee, the trans person, those without bodily autonomy under the law, and those suffering in the thrall of poverty. Baldwin acknowledges all the messiness and failure and genocide and death that has brought us to this point and he asks us to build a new world where we truly value and support each other in all of our differences. It is in that spirit that the piece was born and I hope that same spirit can continue to move each of us toward a more perfect union.
Orchestral performance parts are available via rental.
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