23 May raW
raW was written by filtering J. S. Bach’s Second Brandenburg Concerto through Bob Marley’s War (Bach’s first movement), Burning Spear’s The Invasion (second movement), and John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever (third movement). The constant running sixteenths of the Bach are by turns syncopated or silenced, leaving fleeting and usually unrecognizable echoes of reggae or march. MIDI files downloaded from the internet coupled with music software (Sibelius) helped to build early drafts of this work. From these I made templates, which I then edited over the course of many drafts, as might an artist who takes a photograph and alters it by hand–drawing, scratching, colouring, erasing.
raW was written during the buildup to the American invasion of Iraq, but it was only afterwards that I noticed the connection to the “filtering” pieces’ titles.
raW was commissioned and premiered by Ergo Concerts (Barbara Croall, Artistic Director) and written with the assistance of a grant from The Toronto Arts Council. It received the 2006 Jules Léger Prize for Chamber Music.