Amhrán Bodhar (Deaf Song)
For the Zeppelin 2009 Sounds of Power / Listening of Fear event, we composed this electroacoustic work. It was played through a system of eight loudspeakers on 10, 11 and 12 December 2009 at the Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Culture.
We reflected upon the destructive powers of the G8 nations...
From the call text:
1. What does it mean to receive and/or give an order?
2. The verbs ‘obey’ and ‘hear’ are known to be closely linked. How, then, should we view a society that appears increasingly ready to obey without stopping to think? What link is there between obeying and believing?
3. Why do we have a need for absolute truths, even where we know it’s impossible? Why do we think we already know everything? Do we need to learn techniques or not? Why do we think anyone can do anything? Shouldn’t we respect the ability to do things? To what extent is the term ‘art’ relevant or not?
4. In what sense have we moved from alienation at work to alienation in every, or almost every, sphere in life? Are we losing our awareness of alienation?
5. What does it mean to talk about control in the name of security? Don’t we feel safe? Why do we allow things to be done in the name of democracy that we’d condemn in a dictatorship?
6. Does a welfare society mean a growth society? (Cage said: “I don’t know if life is characterised by progress.”) Why do we think we live in the best of worlds?
7. What role or roles do sounds play in a welfare society and a growth society? Are they related to a loss of privacy? To what extent have neighbours become a new system of control in the hands of the state?
8. How do we view the fact that our instruments for organising sounds are linked to instruments designed to control? Is there a relationship between organising and controlling?
9. At a time when words are being chipped away at until they have a new meaning set down by law, and people who disagree with the criteria of others risk being branded as intolerant, how can we unmask this warped language without discrediting things further?