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Baghdad Monologue
THE BAGHDAD MONOLOGUE: Programme notes

 The Baghdad Monologue is a music-theater composition for soprano and computer. The text is mostly spoken and only occasionally sung. The spoken text fits very tightly in a rhythmic structure provided by the electroacoustic score which consists of a rich and complex pallet of sounds.

 The text explores a political situation that is as old as civilization and has repeated itself throughout the ages: the forceful intervention of the strong and powerful to ‘protect’ or ‘liberate’ the weak. I wanted to examine the idea that the powerful have the right or even the duty to use force to correct what they see -or claim to see- as the misbehaviour, misfortune or incompetence of the weak.

Those who are in a position to intervene today routinely discuss the various arguments and ideologies for or against forceful intervention. The people at the receiving end of intervention are usually more concerned with survival, with the business of avoiding pain and death, than with rhetorical arguments.

For that reason I wanted to look at intervention primarily from the point of view of those who endure it rather than from a philosophical perspective. Accordingly, the focus in The Baghdad Monologue is on the personal experience of a woman who is at the receiving end of intervention, juxtaposing her predicament and condition to the rhetoric and justifications for intervention of the day.

 When I first considered writing this text I was inspired by the book ‘What I heard about Iraq’ by Eliot Weinberger. However, It is my intention that the dramatic situation developed in my text should refer and comment as much as possible on intervention in general and not exclusively to the current war in Iraq.

AV March 07

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