© 2019 by Daniel Whitworth

Mass (2018)
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Having been raised in a reform Jewish family, I’ve always been amazed at the church as an American institution, and the ways in which it dominates so many areas of our lives, regardless to which religion we subscribe. I composed Mass to capture the awe and immensity of the Christian religion, both in terms of its spiritual gravity and as a force of political and social dominance in this country.

 

Mass incorporates sounds taken from church services, such as choirs and church bells, and juxtaposes them against elements that conflict with what I consider to be typical for a church service, such as throat singing and a woman speaking in tongues. These contrasting musical images work in opposition with each other in the same way that translating these traditional church elements into an acousmatic composition contrasts the typical form of religious ceremonies that solely utilize live voices and instruments. The duality of these musical images are meant to highlight the hypocrisy present in the American church, particularly the ways in which they claim to promote altruistic values, yet simultaneously support socially conservative policies that restrict personal freedoms, and turn a blind eye to the endless suffering happening at the hands of those following them.