Thesis

Hunted: Persecution of the other in subject, composer, music, and text

Perhaps not since the culmination of the decades-long march toward civil rights legislation in 1964, which set off sociological aftershocks that resonate even today as residual seismic events of varying degrees on the Richter scale of human rights, has our nation been this divided - this polarized; the gap between the often feared and sometimes hated other (invariably an underrepresented minority voice) and the unrelenting righteous majority enforcer has developed into a rapidly widening chasm of ignorance, falsehoods, and misdeeds, which serves as the new geographic divide across which the most vulnerable minority populations and those in positions of power communicate. Poet Guillaume Apollinaire's "gouffres de Thulé" (chasms of Thule) in the mysterious and sad Poulenc song "Sanglots" (Sobs) comes to mind. Artists across all disciplines are just now awakening to the sudden call in this country for much-needed context - a context that is grounded in our history, of course, but which is principally provided through the sort of artistic alchemy that only an artist through his powers of technique and interpretation learned over many years of disciplined craftwork can provide - a means that remains outside the scope of historians, politicians, and academicians. Answering this call to provide context - this urgent need to position the then into the now in such a way that allows audiences to process how they fit into the world around them in some out-of-the-ordinary way - is not just another activist duty; it is the time-honored privilege and responsibility of every artist and musician working today. The "hunted" of this recital's title refers to four distinct targets of persecution as represented by the program's four distinct musical sets: religious persecution, persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation, persecution of art and music by way of censorship, and ethnic persecution.

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