pick the Gun up
in memoriam Malcom X
Cbcl, Egtr, Perc (2016-17) | 20'
Written for TAL Trio
Commissioned with funds from TONO
First performed in Basel
Some times you have to pick the Gun up, to put the Gun down | Malcom X
The piece, written in memoriam Malcom X, is about how we human beings, throughout our history, have had to fight for fairness, equality, and justice. This has often been the only way we have been able to overthrow regimes that have systematically oppressed others to maintain and grow their own wealth. In parts of today’s society it is a widely held consensus that we no longer need to fight for these things - that humanity has reached an advanced stage of development where fairness is a natural part of our balanced society; at least in the Western World. We believe that we can rely on fair and due process for all, through our courts, elections, and media. Sadly, this perspective on society is an elaborately constructed illusion that falls apart under scrutiny - even a cursory look at those in positions of power, how they got there, and how they are held in place by those very same processes that in theory should hold them to task for the injustices they foster. The truth is that all the injustice we see in the world today (and that which is overlooked) is avoidable; it is allowed to happen due to our (your, my, and their) passiveness. The truth is that fairness is something we all have to fight for. This is reflected in “pick the Gun up”, where the musicians fiercely revolt against any attempt to force the material into a tonal (coherent on the surface but fundamentally irrational, unnatural, and imperialist) framework.
Eric Skytterholm Egan (2016)
TAL trio performing pick the Gun up in Basel in December 2019.