The Four Freedoms Project III: Freedom from Want

May 18, 2019 - 8:00 pm

Bethesda

Great Noise continues its residency at Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ with the third in a series of four programs called the Four Freedoms, based on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Four Essential Freedoms,” articulated in his 1941 State of the Union Address in support of our allies in Europe ahead of World War II.

Freedom from Want addresses matters of compassion, poverty and need. Martin Bresnick’s The Bucket Rider is a classic portrayal of abject poverty in its treatment of Franz Kafka’s eponymous story about a man so poor, he is forced to slide through the ice in his coal bucket to beg for a single piece of coal so he may not freeze and live through another night. Songs for Joe Hill, by Michael Lanci, sets texts from five protest songs and poems by late 19th century authors who inspired the turn of the 20th century labor activist, Joe Hill. A martyr to his cause, Hill’s work only came to wider attention upon his execution for murder (after a highly controversial trial) in 1914, after failed appeals from Helen Keller and other luminaries. In Songs for Joe Hill, Lanci weaves a simple requiem for the fallen Hill and seeks to inspire us towards further fairness and compassion in our labor. Louis Andriessen’s Workers Union, a classic work of early European minimalism, is uncompromising in its depiction of group conformity gone wrong, and the fight for individuality within a larger collective. Finally, Caroline Shaw’s beautiful To the Hands, a response to Dieterich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, is a plea to remember the traveler, the asylum seeker, the persecuted and the displaced in our midst. “Let us open our hands to those of others. (What are these wounds, in my hands, and in yours?) Walls are not the answer. We are all creatures.”

Megan Ihnen, mezzo-soprano, will be soloist for the Lanci. Westmoreland’s Music Director Alec Davis will be conducting this program.

Tickets are available through OvationTix : $30 General Admission presale, $24 WCUCC Members / Students/Seniors & Military at the door.