For this New Sounds, composer Ted Hearne joins John Schaefer to present “The Source,” his modern take on the oratorio based on the story of Chelsea Manning – the U.S. Army intelligence analyst formerly known as Bradley Manning who was responsible for delivering thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. The work is an album-length collection of songs featuring five different singers and electronics – specifically a very dynamic way of exploiting the vocal processing tool known as Auto-Tune. The text (assembled by librettist Mark Doten) is drawn from military logs, the writings of Chelsea Manning, along with some communications she had before she was arrested, plus other files, testimonials, and primary sources.
“The Source,” by Ted Hearne, features four other singers: Mellissa Hughes, Samia Mounts, Isaiah Robinson, Jonathan Woody, in addition to the composer. Their voices are processed in real time using Auto-Tune, an intentional nod to the pop and hip-hop world. Nathan Koci leads the rock-chamber septet which includes a keyboard sampler. Hearne presents portions of the oratorio and highlights the way that music can reframe the text and words and make the listener consider common topics in a different light.
PROGRAM #3829, with Ted Hearne (First Aired 2-11-2016)