Hell’s Handbasket (2012)
Chamber Orchestra (16 players) – 10 min.
If you haven’t heard the old expression “We’re all going to hell in a handbasket,” well, now you have. Sometimes I find it difficult to disagree with the curmudgeon who can feel us all sliding down the slippery slope into a future where music with sensitivity, creativity, intelligence and taste remains only as a relic of a forgotten, irrelevant antiquity. But in this piece, anyway, I’m taking sides with the happy handbasketeer who says “Chill out, dude, and enjoy the ride.” I’m not sure whether the handbasket is the funk band riff that opens the piece and grows to an apocalyptic catharsis, or the silly little hook of a tune that is rediscovered in the aftermath.