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Televisionmann (Gulliver's Travels)

for violin and live video

Composer:   Celeste Oram

Films, Audio & Samples

Celeste Oram: Televisionman...

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Televisionmann (Gulliver’s Travels) is a restaging of GF Telemann’s Intrada Suite for two violins (1728). The latter was inspired by Jonathan Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels (1726), whose narrative threads are encoded in cute musical features such as arcane time signatures (3/32 for the Lilliputians’ Chaconne, and 24/1 for the Brobdingnags’ Gigue). The former was made in California during the first months of Donald Trump’s so-called presidency. Televisionmann culminates with video of Keir GoGwilt at the San Diego airport, playing the second violin part of Telemann’s Intrada Suite amongst protestors of the first instantiation of the Muslim ban.

The work documents the collective flailing that we (and many others) experienced in the wake of the 2016 elections, in which everything from playing violin to writing a Master’s thesis to teaching European music history to grocery shopping began to feel like an indulgent distraction from more pressing issues broadcast on the news and social media.