American Carnage

Despite being (I hope) moderately politically engaged, my own work has never addressed political issues. Art as protest is important and can be immensely powerful – don’t get me wrong – but I’ve just never been particularly drawn to music with a political stance at its heart. It’s a naïve attitude, but there it is. Maybe I feel that amidst the satire and the general fulmination, it’s the notes that suffer. It’s why I’ve never much cared for Shostakovich, Nono, Dylan, or what I might call ‘Darmstadt Marxism’.

But, in this horrifying new world order, we’re all Marxists now. And my anger is such that I couldn’t help but write a little piano piece shot through with satire and general fulmination. It’s called American Carnage, that charming phrase from Ronald T Dump’s inauguration speech, and is basically a short, blistering fantasy on the Star-Spangled Banner, in which the melody comes in and out of focus as it is subjected to various warping devices. The PDF is below- it could provide a lively encore for my American pianist friends! Now, on to that Brexit piece….



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