Symphony in the Key of Junk Science: Composer Steven Stucky’s new piece will honor Rachel Carson’s work

And who wouldn’t want to honor the instigator of the DDT-ban genocide?

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:

Silence has a special place in music. Rests are just as important as notes whether in complex rhythms, grand pauses or syncopation. John Cage’s infamous 3’44” asks for no playing whatsoever and Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Farewell Symphony” ends with the performers leaving the stage one by one, slowly muting the orchestra.

Composer Steven Stucky takes an approach similar to Haydn in his newest work, but the American composer’s decrescendo was inspired by a far more troubling situation. Haydn wished to convince his princely employer to let his musicians return from his summer home to their families. Mr. Stucky wanted to capture the stark prophecy of “Silent Spring,” Rachel Carson’s seminal treatise on the staggering effects of chemical pollution on the environment.

Commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to honor the book’s 50th anniversary, Mr. Stucky’s work of the same name musically captures the passion and courage of the Pittsburgh native, as well as the endgame she warned will take place if the industry practice of dumping chemicals such as DDT into water sources continued. “Silent Spring’s” world premiere will take place this week conducted by PSO music director Manfred Honeck before the PSO takes it to New York City’s Avery Fisher Hall late this month…

Read the entire report.

Read “100 Things You Should Know About DDT.”

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