Piano Circus - Voices at the End
I spent January to April 2018 in London to be close to Piano Circus - a group of six pianists (https://www.pianocircus.com/) - to complete this work. The highlight was a week-long residency at Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh where we rehearsed the piece and worked on the sound and monitor mixes, then presented most of the piece to a wonderfully receptive audience. We’re now in the planning stage for a world premiere and it’s my dream to find a way to bring Piano Circus to New Zealand/Australia in 2020 to present this work and some of the incredible repertoire that is unique to their ensemble (Reich, Fitkin, Lang etc.). They are a wonderful group of musicians, individually and collectively and I have loved hanging out with them. I will miss them when I leave London.
Voices at the End weaves together a lot of strands in my recent work and collaborations. It has a significant digital audio element and moves through a kaleidoscope of sonic environments.It was originally inspired by the film Planetary (http://weareplanetary.com ). In this film, author and environmental activist Joanna Macy suggested there are three stories that we have to choose from, to make sense of our lives now, to make sense of our world. These three stories form the three central parts of Voices at the End.
The first story that we could see and accept as reality is Business as Usual. All we need to do is keep growing our economy. We could call that the industrial growth society. But there's a second story which is seen and accepted as the reality by the scientists and the activists. These are the people who lift back the carpet and look under the rug of Business as Usual and see what it's costing us. And it's costing us the world. We call that story The Great Unravelling. Unravelling is what biological and ecological and organic systems do as diversity is lost. They shred. That's not the end of the story though, because there's a third narrative, another lens through which we can choose to see. And that is that a revolution is taking place. A transition. From the industrial growth society to a life sustaining society. And it's taking many forms, this third story, The Great Turning. It's our story of survival and it’s got huge evolutionary pressures behind it. After all, the story of evolution is everybody's autobiography.