American Lives and Property
This piece is the first of a series of works focusing on continuity and cycles that led to the Ancient Chinese Enclosing Game Compositional Matrix. In addition to musical continuity and cycles this work uses text that reveals a continuity of a different nature: the cycle of armed interventions. The text is a list of 85 such interventions that occurred from 1812 to 1932. The stated purpose of many of these interventions was along the line of "to protect American life and property." Questions such as why was there American life and property to protect in Shanghai in 1927 are left unasked. The list was compiled by the US State department as part of its justification for sending armed forces to Korea in 1950. When I started this piece the US and Great Britian had just bombed radar sites in Iraq. As I finished, 24 crew members of a US spy plane were released by China after making an emergency landing on Hainan. Two months after the piece was completed, terrorists attacked New York on September 11, 2001. So far, the response of the US has been primarily armed intervention with little or no attention given to rectifying the conditions that generated such deep hatred. Instead, the U.S. attacked Iraq. Just another item on the list.
Recording: LARVA04: Life After College