Resistance

for prepared bass clarinet and live electronics

written for Heather Roche for the 2012 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

The result…is a ‘vibration’ whose power is transmitted to the human community – that is, to a community of human beings whose activity is itself defined in terms of seizing and rending: suffering, resistance, cries.

           — Jacques Rancière, tr. Gregory Elliott. The Emancipated Spectator.

Resistance emerges from the sonic landscape that surrounded me as a New Yorker in 2011-12.  When re-synthesized with solo bass clarinet, impeded by preparation with foreign materials, can these found sounds retain the resonance of the social conditions that created them?  Emanating from a speaker in the bell of the bass clarinet, as if occupying the instrument itself, beyond the control of the performer, they eventually expand to envelop the audience.  Without addressing a single political agenda, the voice of the clarinetist is joined by thousands of human voices that are rarely heard in a concert hall.  Commissioned for the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2012, Resistance is dedicated to Heather Roche.

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