Music composition

Short Violin Duet

I composed a very short and simple violin duet this past Sunday. I wrote it for the YouTuber violinists known as TwoSetViolin. They are training to be violin pros, but their videos are hilarious and accessible to everyone, so if you haven’t heard of them, check them out!

They had posted a submission form for composers to submit their short violin duets for possible use in some upcoming video. I only discovered the request shortly before the deadline, so my duet was composed in about an hour, hence it’s very simple nature. (Granted, most of my music is pretty simple anyway, even when I have plenty of time.)

The violinists have almost 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube, so I’m sure they got a ton of submissions and I won’t be surprised if my humble attempt does not make the cut or goes unnoticed. Still, it was a fun little exercise!

Here’s the piece:

And here’s a PDF of the score.

By S P Hannifin, ago

The Evil System

Someone on social media posted that they received a message saying something similar to:

What happened to George Floyd is a metaphor for how the system holds black folks down; people don’t care.

It is horrible, appaling, tragic, and frustrating to learn how Floyd lost his life. However, I don’t understand the quoted response that sees the incident as a metaphor for a greater, more heinous, yet more vague and nebulous evil. What specifically is the “system”, how specifically is it keeping you down, and how specifically can it be fixed?

As with the notion of privelege, people tend to point to statistical disparities as evidence of racism. But statistics in and of themselves never explain causes; one can always interpret the numbers to imply victimhood. Nor do they determine probability; each point of data is the sum of a vast number of unique variables. That is, your chances of being murdered by police, for example, cannot be calculated with statistics. It makes no sense as a foundation of fear.

Nor will the “system” ever be perfect. Another incident is bound to happen. We humans are stupid, sinful, and imperfect. That doesn’t justify the next incident or morally excuse those involved. But the quoted mindset preconditions one’s response to be that much more torment, as the incident will once again provide metaphorical evidence for the evil of the “system”. (Should supposed evidence to the contrary, such as police brutality against non-black folks or the success of other black folks, be ignored?)

That is, if what you require to be unafraid is a world without incident, you will be afraid forever.

(On a side note, there was once this guy who told his followers that they’d be unjustly hated and persecuted, and yet he encouraged them to not worry and to be at peace. Wow, that’s a tall order! Who was that?)

So what’s a person to do? Well, there are a few ways to help. You can post a black square or something on social media to show you care. You can donate some money to some organization that will hopefully do something. You can vote for the socially approved candidates. If you’re white, you can be racist against yourself to help equalize things. And of course there’s always protesting. If you feel that none of these seem to help much because the problem is too vague… (answer to be inserted here)

my virtue

By S P Hannifin, ago