WHAT: Performance Piece: To Strike the World, for 12 instruments and 12 voices
WHEN: Wednesday, December 5, 7 p.m; Friday, December 7, 7 p.m; Saturday, December 8, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Great Hall, Peterson Student Center, St. John’s College
COST: Tickets are $5 at the door.
DETAILS: For more information, call 505-984-6104 (after hours, switchboard: 984-6000)
“To Strike the World,” a performance piece for 12 voices and 12 instruments, juxtaposes the letters and creative musings of President Harry S. Truman against the remembrances of historian and author Toyofumi Ogura, before and after the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima. Surrounding the voices of Truman and Ogura are the intimate voices of private individuals and orchestral instruments.
With an original score composed by St. John’s tutor John Cornell and provocative text by tutor Phil Le Cuyer, this dynamic production offers uniquely personal insights into the conduct and consequences of nuclear war. The production is student-conducted (senior Paul Franz) and student-directed (junior Jake Gibson).
The portraits of Harry S. Truman and Toyogumi Ogura are composites of their own words as found in their letters to their respective wives. Ogura’s experience was the first survivor’s account to be published after the war. Interspersed with Truman’s and Ogura’s words are ten voices, bringing into language particular experiences that have changed their consciousness.
The music helps the audience navigate the far-flung moral latitudes covered in the text. The musical sign for the piece is the ostinato accompaniment – rhythmic figures struck regularly in the bass. The music draws on surprising affinities between American Blues modes and the scales of classical Japanese melody.
Tickets are $5 at the door. Admission is free for St. John’s College students, faculty and staff.