for three percussionists, electronics, and video processing
Composer: Jason Thorpe Buchanan
by Jason Thorpe Buchanan
Text by Darcie Dennigan
Commissioned by Eklekto Percussion, Geneva, Switzerland
World Premiere: Geneva, Switzerland – November 14, 2015
gimme shelter is the second in a cycle of compositions for three percussionists, electronics, and live video processing on texts by American poet Darcie Dennigan written specifically for these works, and was commissioned by Eklekto Percussion Geneva. The piece revolves around the obfuscation and recontextualization of semantic content in speech, and the way in which confusion and ambiguity distort a participant’s perception. The live processing generates a reservoir of data that can be drawn from, manipulated, and re-composited against itself through parameters that control its behavior, resulting in visual, aural, and temporal dissonances between multimedia and human performance. Poet Darcie Dennigan writes: It was Halloween when the New York Times showcased their story of a German town and its 102 inhabitants “bracing” for their mandated embrace of 750 asylum seekers. Catastrophe visits the world’s inhabitants unevenly, disproportionately, and then its victims, costumed in their catastrophe, must visit us. gimme shelter evokes three starkly contrasting sociopolitical viewpoints in a text written concurrent with the mass exodus of citizens of poor, war-ravaged, and environmentally unstable countries seeking home elsewhere. No single perspective or line is more important here than the other. Rather, consider the accretion of speech in overlapping entreaties alongside the stagnant drone of statistics and rhetoric. We are not free to listen to one side, to make one account readable, livable– hospitable.