In Broken Silence, music supports listeners engaging with text drawn from court testimony connected with the scandal in the Catholic Church. The 75-minute live performances includes spoken word and quiet long tones from winds and ebow strings.
Listen to the complete part I here.
In the live presentations, musicians sit in a circle surrounded by listeners in concentric rings. The music has three fifteen to eighteen minute parts with silence in between. Each part begins with a pure tone, which is passed between the musicians across the circle. Over five to ten minutes, tones are added one at a time, building a pulsating chord. Then tones drop out one at a time, often imperceptibly.
Shaping the flow of the piece, the speaker pays attention to the resonance with the musicians and listeners, moving forward or slowing down as needed.
Presentations of the work are free and require an RSVP. Out of respect for the tender nature of participants' responses, there is no recording, video, or photography during the performance. For journalists: photographs may be taken during rehearsal by prior arrangement. We strongly request that when reviewing the presentation, journalists do not name any of the attendees.
Craig Shepard writes about the development of the work here.