Eroding Mountains

For narrator, voice and electronics

2011-2014

narration: Art Cohen

vocals: Scott Barton

piano: Aurie Hsu

Eroding Mountains is about a slow epiphany. It is about one’s realization of the value of nonhuman animal life in a culture that typically defines ethical standards along speciesist lines. It is about the realization and remembrance that such lines are and have been drawn within the boundaries of the human species. It represents confusion and conflict that results when what was normal and comfortable is recognized as ethically untenable. It is about remaining connected with those you love in spite of differences. It is about frustration with apathy. It is about the hope of things getting better.

Musically, transformations and re-orderings of recognizable materials represent emotional conflict, confusion, and the feeling of a voice that doesn’t reach its listener. Larger trajectories, such as de-tuned -> tuned and distributed -> isochronous represent the journey of coming to clarity. The three sections represent how individuals can come to this realization in isolation and how, unless they connect with others, will continue to inhabit that state. Each section features expression that refuses to compromise its humanity in spite of the confusing factors around it. The piece concludes with a musical statement of hope.

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