Performance: “Those I Fight I Do Not Hate”

“Those I Fight I Do Not Hate” is a work by my friend and Big Robot co-conspirator Jordan Munson, composed for bodhrán, electronics, and video.  Both of us made the trek across the pond to the UK in early August for two performances of the piece (me-bodhrán; Jordan-video and electronics) at the 2011 International Computer Music ConferenceThe bodhrán is a frame drum that is commonly used in Irish music, and is similar to many frame drums from the Middle East….an ancient instrument to be sure. It is generally 2-3 inches deep and 14-18 inches in diameter, with a goatskin head (or synthetic equivalent).  In Jordan’s piece, the performer is called to rub, scratch and drum with the fingers on the head as well as the crossbar.  Jordan composed the piece several years ago for percussionist Ryan Nestor, who penned the following program notes:

“Hinging structurally upon the unique tones and timbres present in the instrument, Those That I Fight I Do Not Hate is a solo composition for bodhran and tape, with live video.  Immediately concerned with honoring the historical roots of the instrument, Munson researched Irish poetry, finding inspiration in the William Butler Yeats poem “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”, from which the piece derives its title.  Honoring the Irish origins of the instrument, while simultaneously pushing the sonic circumference of the bodhran in decidedly non-traditional ways, the global characteristics of Those That I Fight I Do Not Hate are numerous and far-reaching.  Munson does not compose within the traditional boundaries of western harmonic practice, but rather, a global harmony, drawing upon the diverse timbres of our world, removing the bodhran from its traditional function and exploring the instruments diverse sounds.  Anchored amongst the varied timbres of our world, Munson’s musical language dissects the sounds of various cultures and subsequently forges, in the realm of a single composition, a global music.”

~Ryan Nestor

Link to the ICMC performance, August 4, 2011, Huddersfield UK