the truth & the truth

solo snare drum [10-15’] 2008.

Morris Palter
Funder: The Toronto Arts Council
Premiere: Lenny Sakofsky, Adam Concert Room, New Zealand, June 28, 2012.
Text: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Barbara Bush & Saint John
Performance: Corey Rae, Aventa Ensemble, March 6, 2015 


Program note:
While visiting Toronto’s historic Fort York, I learned that musicians had collected the wounded and corpses from the battlefield. Those least responsible for the violence were the ones most intimately acquainted with its effects. Exploring the traditions of military drumming as a form of signalling and communication, I began to look at how messages about war in our own time are shared and/or withheld. The snare drum part is based on speech rhythms and military drumming techniques.

Three voices run through this work. Each speaks to the slippery nature of the truth:

“Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt, radio address, October 26, 1939

“Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths…I mean, it’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”
— Barbara Bush on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” March 18, 2003.

“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”
— John 8:32