In the Name of Capitalism Part 3: Soul

Composer
David Harris
Text
Lynne Twist
Year Composed
2018
Pages
6
Minutes
6
Language
English; Wordless
Voicing
12 part mixed chorus
Solos
vocal percussionist
Extended Techniques
Yes
Sacred or Secular
Secular
Mood
Sparse, distant, minimal; Tense, with some edge
Description

In The Name Of Capitalism is a three-part piece composed with choral overtone singing as a central component. Much of the music occurs above the sung notes, and listeners are encouraged to close their eyes and listen "up" for high pitched whistles. It explores the social ills that are easily wielded by those who use capitalistic leverage to gain power over a community. I was inspired by the ways that the poor, minorities, and women have been excluded from the American Dream through targeted capitalistic discrimination, and the fact that people have generally chosen to ignore this discrimination. The overtones, besides being musically satisfying, mimic this economic reality. We relate to overtones with every sound we hear, yet, most people ignore the aural complexity around them. We are content to focus on the simplest information we can process, and let the rest exist beyond our awareness. The opening and closing overtone melody comes from the song “Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie” that was common in Alabama at the time my grandfather’s family was working in the mines in poverty. I wrote a folk-like melody at the end as a celebration of the marches and protests that have become more prevalent in America since the 2016 Presidential election, bringing attention to the economic morality challenges we face as a nation. The singers sing an obfuscated version of a line from Lynne Twist's "The Soul Of Money" while a vocal percussionist beat boxes using compound interest, a financial practice often leveraged against the poor in predatory lending practices.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liyxjCPEP3o

Audio Credit
Umberto Belfiore, video and recording
Group
C3LA
Performances
C3LA: May 2018 (Conversations with Strangers)