Our world is changing fast, and in recent years it seems everything has been turned upside down.
VOICES is a place to think about the questions facing us, and to look at these things through the prism of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights.
Adopted in 1948, in the aftermath of the second world war, the Declaration was drafted by the group of philosophers, artists and thinkers convened by Eleanor Roosevelt to address the great questions of the time.
Unique aspects of the work
The orchestra is a radically reimagined ensemble I am calling a “negative orchestra”. As the world has been turned upside down, so have the proportions of this orchestra. It is nearly all basses and cellos.
In addition to readings by the narrator, I have crowdsourced hundreds of readings of the UN Declaration in dozens of languages. These readings are the aural landscape that this music flows through: they are the VOICES of the title.
We live in time of great challenges. The hopes and gains of the post-war liberal consensus are evaporating before our eyes. The rise of populism has discredited the old structures but offers only illusory alternatives.
In this age of impunity, where ignorance is given equal weight to knowledge, and with authoritarianism on the rise, it is easy to get discouraged. The Covid Pandemic has only intensified the need for us to find humane answers to the challenges we face.
While the UN Declaration is not a perfect document, it does represent an inspiring vision for a better and kinder world; one that is within our grasp. Ultimately the music of VOICES is filled with hope.