This is the first part of a proposed longer work that takes its inspiration from statistics relating to the almost daily mass shootings in the United States of America. When complete, it will incorporate the entire mass shooting index for the year 2019.
When I first came across the Mass Shooting Index, I was shocked at what I saw, as when we listen to the news here in the UK we only hear about the occasional happening. Anyway, I was moved enough to consider an artistic response. I know that I am not American, and so it is perhaps "not my problem"; nevertheless, there still remained the feeling that a response was appropriate, and maybe my geographical distance might not be a bad thing.
The composition, as heard in the video above, is scored for trombone, piano, electronics and projected text. As the events of the year unfold, the trombone plays one note for every person killed, and the piano for every person wounded. The first piano note for each displayed slide also corresponds to the latitude of the location of the shooting. The electronics carry the 'memory' of the fatally shot and come to the fore on the days when there are no displayed incidents. As the piece develops the electronics take on a more prominent role as the killings accumulate.
My intention is that the work will be able to be performed live or presented as an integrated video and audio installation. I also intend to release the compositional score with the idea that it could be adapted for any instrument or combination of instruments, to encourage further performance possibilities. All going well, the piece should be ready early autumn 2020.
As there is no standard definition of what a mass shooting is, my composition defines this this as an incident where at least four people are shot. The data is taken from the massshootingtracker.site internet resource.
Please direct any queries relating to the work, including exhibition possibilities via the contact link below.