i’ve written a new work in memory of those lost to the COVID-19 Pandemic. my goal with this work is to try and imprint the true significance of the number 1,000 on individuals everywhere. as the United States nears 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, we must acknowledge what those numbers mean and what we are failing to do as individuals, families, and communities. the work itself is simple: 1,000 repetitions, without rhythm, meter, tempo, articulation, dynamic, or any other instruction, of the pitch “A.”
The New York Times cover on May 24th, 2020 is the inspiration for this work. they chose to print 1,000 names of victims of this crisis; just 1% of the death toll in the United States of America alone. This cannot be treated as acceptable; it just can’t.
from the background notes about the work:
this piece is inspired by the coronavirus pandemic and its resultant death toll
(at the time of this work’s composition, and in just the United States of America alone).
i believe that numbers are difficult to comprehend, and when discussing human life in particular we are inclined to underestimate their value.
when we talk about a single death in our family, we are nearly brought to our knees by loss.
when we talk of children, the death of one can rock an entire community.
1 funeral. 1 family directly affected. a few dozen other people touched by the sorrow.
when we speak of mass shootings, we increase the threshold. if less than 10 people died, we often sigh with relief as we think about “how much worse” it could have been.
10 funerals. 10 families directly affected. hundreds of people touched by the sorrow.
when we talk about disasters, plane crashes, earthquakes, we hope for under 100 deaths,
because we have seen “how much worse” it can be.
100 funerals. 100 families directly affected. thousands of people touched by the sorrow.
this work, like The New York Times cover, expresses the quantity of 1,000, but through the repetition of the pitch A. The lack of rhythms and meter is intentional, as it shows the individuality of each of those beautiful, singular pitches.
1,000 funerals. 1,000 families. millions of people touched by the sorrow.
now consider our reality.
this is 1% of the damage.
the truth is almost unbearable.
100 times as much sorrow. 100 times as many families. 100 times as many individuals.
lost to a sickness that we are fully capable of containing, if we simply remove our selfishness and stand up for what is right and good and just.
we all make our choices. make the right ones. consider what each strike of this pitch means.
1 note is 1 loss. 1 family. dozens touched by the sorrow.
and the truth is much closer to 100,000.
download the score for free: