Burning Chariots ('03) 12'
for The Boston Secession
Recording: Live concert
recording, The Crossing.
clearly how good [McLoskey] is.
culled graphically unflinching antiwar texts, many of them Old
Testament, and had them sung over dronelike effects that morphed in and
out of aurally disturbing quarter tones - with great visceral effect."
Philadelphia Inquirer, July 19, 2010
ABOUT THE PIECE:
It's funny how words written last year can already seem dated, while
others from millennia ago can be strikingly fresh and
relevant. Certainly there are voluminous sections of thees,
thous and "he begats" in the Old Testament which feel foreign and dry
as bone. Yet there are also portions that are frighteningly
current in both tone and message, and transcend time, place and culture.
Rather than set a single story or text, I decided to set several such
passages that resonate today as directly as in any era. A
primary cantus firmus text sung in Hebrew provides the backdrop, while
11 other texts (sung in 12 languages) slowly filter through, weaving a
tapestry of texts and voices. Finally a sole soprano enters
with a lament in Latin, acting as the universal voice - the real voice
of the choir, of all of us - grieving over the loss of life, love, and
humanity. For over four thousand years this message has been
repeated, and yet all we have to do is turn on the TV and watch in
vivid technicolor how bitterly apropos it remains.
was written for Boston Secession, and dedicated to all who have worked
towards peace across the millennia.