Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue) is an elegy not only for the people of a village who suffered the loss of a generation and the wounded soul of the Welsh who saw their beautiful country destroyed when the coal mines came to the valleys, but for our world, besieged by unbridled industry pillaging the land and its people, exploiting their riches for a few. Aberfan is our entire structure under collapse, the condemnation of a corrupted capitalism imposed upon the world, a catastrophe in sound, the truth of our entrapment in a world run on power, violence and commodity, reducing to rubble all that is sacred. This project confronts and aims to disrupt our complacency.
Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Contributions are tax deductible. Please help us make this recording with your donation.
“The Puffin Foundation Ltd. seeks to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy. (more…)
What was the salvation and economic lifeblood of this small village, with its promise to the miners of being able to provide for their families, became the death of a generation and ongoing trauma for those who survived. Were it not for short sighted environmental, governmental and economic practices that served only to protect the system and those who gained by it, this tragedy would never have happened.
What will be the legacy of fracking? What will we be mourning the loss of in 50 years? What unintended consequences befall us or our children? What will be destroyed forever? Our groundwater? Who will be held responsible? The miners of Aberfan did not pile coal waste high above the village so their children would be buried one day. Our systems have not changed, only the people and machinery have — corporate dominance assures ‘progress and safety’ while exploiting humankind and the earth as commodities. The visceral, powerful message in the music of Aberfan is the felt knowledge of this human condition, resonating over time.
Unless we reclaim our history we are doomed. It is precisely this loss of memory that enables these systems to dupe each coming generation into believing that prosperity is possible.
Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue)is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts, a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization. Make your statement by helping this project be recorded. Make your tax deductible donation towards its recording here.
Watching for spring to come in the many grant applications and letters sent out for Aberfan — a project at the crossroads of modern music, environmental justice, performance art, experimental media and landscape of the human soul.
Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts. In order to pull this off I need your help. Make a donation of any size here.
Aberfan is an elegy not only for the people of Aberfan who suffered the loss of a generation and the “wounded soul of the Welsh” who saw “their beautiful country being destroyed when the coal mines came to the valleys”, but for our world, besieged by unbridled industry pillaging the land and exploiting its riches for the few. The tragedy of Aberfan and the music it informed manifest the abject sorrow and rage resulting from the devastating human and environmental impacts of the fossil fuel industry, more recently embodied by mountaintop-removal coal mining and fracking to extract natural gas. This project confronts our blindness and aims to disrupt our complacency.
Aberfan will be participatory. In choosing the entrances of pianos #2-7, individuals will be deciding the composition and experiencing their own involvement in its unfolding. Merging the music of Aberfan and photos of this particular disaster’s psychic aftermath lays bare the great cost of ignoring the habituated, presumptive violence in our human systems.
The penetrating quality of musical vibrations in synergy with photographic art, resonating where words cannot, evokes a greater world where all are connected as living beings on a living earth. In bearing witness to the single atrocity of Aberfan, one can begin to question the arrogance of “progress” built on destruction, absent the soul.
For the performance or installation of Aberfan, money is needed to create a studio recording and develop a design for the visual element. My hope is for presentation across the United States within the next several years. Donations can be made online.
Here is an example, in musical language, of the consequence of our offensive display of superiority over nature. Rain and Rubble Sequences have been spliced and put back together in alternating measures. Excerpt: Aberfan, “Rain – Rubble”
Thank your for considering the enduring social and artistic significance of Aberfan and its challenge to halt our drive towards extinction.
Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501 (c)(3), tax-exempt organization. Contributions are tax deductible.
Photo upper right courtesy Alan George. Overview of collapsed rooves and throng of people behind school. Aberfan, 1966.