VOICES is 56 minutes of music for orchestra, choir, electronics, solo soprano, solo violin and solo piano. The orchestra is a radically reimagined ensemble called a “negative orchestra”. As the world has been turned upside down, so have the proportions of this orchestra. It is nearly all basses and cellos.
In addition to readings by a narrator, hundreds of readings of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights in dozens of languages have been sourced from all over the world. These readings are the aural landscape that this music flows through: they are the VOICES of the title.
The opening words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted in 1948, are “All human beings are are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” These inspiring words are a guiding principle for the whole declaration but, looking around at the world we have made in the decades since they were written, it is clear that we have forgotten them. The recent brutal events in the US, leading to the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as countless other abuses around the world, are proof of that. At such times it is easy to feel hopeless but, just as the problems of our world are of our own making, so the solutions can be. While the past is fixed, the future is yet unwritten, and the declaration sets out an uplifting vision of a better and fairer world that is within our reach if we choose it. VOICES is a musical space to reconnect with these inspiring principles.