From a live performance at Memorial Church, Stanford University, 1993. Eric Goldstrum, organ; Ward Spangler, percussion; Suzanne Mudge, trombone.
No Trumpets, No Drums
for pipe organ, trombone and percussion
"No Trumpets, No Drums" is a hypothetical set of negotiations, toward an Israeli/Palestinian peace settlement. In the abstract language of instrumental music, the piece deals with the very concrete issues that would need to be negotiated if this generations-long conflict is to be resolved.
The piece is structured spatially, with the plan matching the progress of the negotiations. At the opening, the players are far apart, each presenting its own point of view in harsh, uncompromising terms. As the piece progresses, they find some common ground and gradually move toward one another. Finally, they join together in a song of mourning. Throughout this process, each retains its own identity, its own culture, its own heritage.
Abstracted elements of Arabic and Jewish music appear throughout the piece, which is in seven continuous sections:
IV. Divided City
VII. Mourning the Dead
This work was jointly commissioned by the Palo Alto and San Francisco chapters of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Consortium at Stanford.
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