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Ethnic Conflict for String Ensemble

for thirteen string players

Year:  2010   ·  Duration:  9m 30s
Instrumentation:  for 13 string players (4 4 2 2 1) or for full string orchestra | extra chairs or stools: these need to be knocked over loudly, so they must be placed away from the musicians in such a way that they will not fall onto the musicians; 2-4 very cheap old violins and/or violas that can be smashed and destroyed (optional) | players' voices: the instrumentalists must be of both genders, as both male and females are required to scream and yell

Year:  2010
Duration:  9m 30s
Instrumentation  for 13 string players (4 4 ...

Samuel Gray

Composer:   Samuel Gray

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Samuel Gray: Ethnic Conflic...

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This work begins with two authentic folk melodies from two (European) ethnic groups that, most recently in 2008, were engaged in armed violence. The similarity of the melodies, and the fact that layman cannot tell the two melodies apart, highlights the fact that ethnic hatred requires group-internal discourses to be nourished and exacerbated.

Violence between two or more groups of people that see each other as ‘the others’, continues to shape the lives of millions of people globally. Composer Samuel Gray has first-hand experience of ethnic violence as an independent volunteer in Kosovo. While Gray realises that is impossible to represent the suffering and terror of war and its emotional and societal aftermath in music and does not wish to belittle such experiences through this work, he believes that in order for contemporary classical music to continue play a role in modern society, it needs to not ignore the problems that modern society has to deal with.

Dedication note

To all the victims of ethnic conflict globally

Performance history

03 Sep 2010: Recorded by Agnese Kanniņa-Liepiņa, Madara Pētersone, Madara Jauģiete, Līga Pētersone, Konstantīns Paturskis, Kristiāna Šīrante, Madara Gaile, Anna Naudžūne, Liene Kļava, Artūrs Gailis, Kārlis Klotiņš and Pēteris Ozoliņš with conductor Ainārs Rubiķis in Riga, Latvia

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