...And This Machine Was Their God - Clarinet, 'Cello & Percussion
The words of Karl Marx, written in 1867, seem almost prophetic, from our viewpoint in the early 21st Century. Marx's vision is of a world in which industrialisation and mechanisation are the new religions, where serving a machine is a form of worship and factory smoke is clouds of incense. We saw this happen, and saw it taken to an extreme both in the capitalist West, where the mechanical was (and still is?) worshipped as a source of wealth, and in the socialist East, where industry + labour itself took on a mythical, heroic status. But we now live in perhaps what is best described as a postindustrial world – factories sit empty or are redeveloped into housing or art galleries – where now is our mechanical deity? Could we still be enslaved to the machine/god's invisible successors? This trio depicts the machine as divine – a vast indifferent god that exists to consume and to produce. The idiom is post-minimalist, in that repetition of small cells occurs, but they are continually recombined and juxtaposed in new combinations and syncopated unisons. A kind of mechanical jazz develops, ecstatically dancing. Clouds of smoke rise like incense, and gong stokes ring out.
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