TOY SYMPHONY: Program Notes 2007

by danielgoode

TOY SYMPHONY: Program Notes 2007

Toy Symphony is a meditation in sound and text about war and “wars,” perpetrated by political and religious forces here and elsewhere. It is also an exhortation asking people: which war is this? One strand of thought leads to the most unromantic word of all: capitalism, the self-declared victor of a long political and economic war. A succinct phrase in opposition came from Pope John Paul II, who is also a doctrinal enemy of the rights of women. But why toys? Toy musical instruments played by grown-up musicians calls attention to the vulnerability of people in the face of the powerful armed by military or economic force. The use of toys deflates those forces at least symbolically through a playful, but serious irony. And also liberates us a bit to unwind and come together. There is also a powerful musical reason to combine toys with sophisticated musical instruments: toys extend the range of “real” musical instruments into the expressive realm of noise, the unruly and the transgressive. The setting of Robert Frost’s famous poem, Fire and Ice, is a reflection on endings of all things, but in today’s world, a reminder that we do not really know the fate of the earth. [DG]

Daniel Goode/Robert Frost

Beware… Beware… Beware… Beware…
He said
Who said?
Pope said
Pope John Paul said, he said
Beware of savage, wild capitalism.

Let’s take a tip from-Whom?
From Pope… [etc.]
He said it, Karol Wojtyla, he said it… [etc.] that one
Who is against the rights of women

Beware… [etc.]

“In time of war” da-dum, da-dum
“This time of war”
Which war is this?
Iraq or terror?
Terror, Iraq?
The undeclared war?
Or, the endless war?

Terror is a human feeling
No war can win
The War on Drugs
The War on Sin
No war can win.
The war against the secular war against Christ-T-T-T-T-T-T
Terror is a human feeling
No war can win.

Some say (Frost says) the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice -ce-ce-ce-ce-ce-ce-ce-ce-ce