Hands Up was composed to encapsulate the 2014 protests in Ferguson, MO. The words used are not my own; the text comes from numerous interviews and twitter hashtags from protesters at these events. Given the ongoing events in Ferguson, I’d like to make it clear that this work is intended to capture the protest feelings in Ferguson, which in my opinion, hold significant historical and societal value. I am opposed to violent protests and police violence, and believe the best course to create change is through peaceful discourse.
The piece is scored for 10 players total: drum set soloist, four percussionists who rhythmically vocalize text (ala Cage’s living room music) via amplification / megaphones, two marimbas, piano, xylophone, and crotales. It’s art / rock / rally music; perhaps my Zach de la Rocha and Rage Against the Machine influence comes through. Take a listen:
Thank you to Dr. Colin Hill at Tennessee Tech for taking the lead on this commission, as well as consortium members Justin Alexander at Virginia Commonwealth University, Chad Floyd at Campbellsville University, Bob Breithaupt at Capital University, Jeff Moore at University of Central Florida, Jesse Willis at Coastal Carolina University, Brian Mason at Morehead State University, Wayne Bovenschen at Oklahome State University, Charlotte Mabrey at University of North Florida, Julie Hill at University of Tennessee at Martin, and Jordan Kamps at University of Illinois at Chicago. I will be premiering Hands Up alongside the Tennessee Tech percussion ensemble on April 23, 2015 at TTU.
-Ivan Trevino, 2/3/15