On January 5, 2016, President Obama marked his final year in office with a last-ditch call for US gun control, following a mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in which 20 of the 26 victims were children.
Obama certainly had notes, but didn’t seem to look at them and he didn’t used the teleprompter either. The resulting speech as been described by the Washington Post as “amazingly emotional”.
“Background checks” aims at projecting into the orchestra the energy of Obama prosody, pauses and visual expressions. It’s a tribute to his thought on US gun safety laws and to the many innocent victims of misused weapons.
“Background checks” has been commissioned by the Fondazione Haydn di Bolzano e Trento upon the proposal of the artistic director, Daniele Spini, for the 60th anniversary of the Haydn Orchestra.
[…] Opened with noises, rustles and vibrant fillets – almost in a scientific research of what happens from nothing to the first phoneme – the music is realized gradually in the encounter, in the reflection and in the intersection with the voice of Obama […] The tension builds up to the point that a strong dramaturgy between music and speech emerges, making them interchangeable with each other. A well-thought-of piece of musical theater.
Monique Ciola, 29/01/2020, www.lesalonmusical.it