Thoughts and Prayers - Kevin Joest

from This is My Letter to the World by Kate Amrine

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The crux of the piece comes from the anger and frustration of inaction. At the root of the various specific debates in our society is the very real fear that inaction will allow these events to continue happening unchecked. The 2016 presidential campaign, subsequent election, and its aftermath eventually became a static of television, news, and social media for which volume is at 10 and content is at 1. I wanted to highlight that idea of the cheapness of talk, so while there are only 5 or 6 sources for the tape, they are blended in such a way that only the moments of clarity and substance really are heard. The rest is just voices trying to outspeak each other. On the other side, the trumpet music is all derived from Taps, which serves as a requiem to those who were slain in the too-numerous tragedies. It becomes most recognizable toward the end, as the derivations that are least like the original come at the beginning, creating a sense of movement from distortion to clarity, of many voices into one. Taps is a powerful melody with deep ties to a great many people, and to use it was a deliberate choice to elicit the connotations of death, war, sacrifice, and loss, but also gratitude, action, and of working to uphold beliefs through those actions. The disparity between the empty chatter of the tape and the ultimate sacrifice alluded to by the trumpet is bridged by the quotes from Dominique Christina. Extraordinary in these words is her conviction that the ideas one has and expresses should not be said to be convincing or browbeating. She says “maybe, [if said with enough conviction], these things become instructive, and maybe you find they are also belonging to you.” It’s that sense of belonging as the powerful call to action that inspired the work. - Kevin


from This is My Letter to the World, released January 24, 2020


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Kate Amrine New York, New York

Kate Amrine is a passionate trumpet player balancing a career developing new repertoire and freelancing with many different groups in the New York City area. She recently released her debut album “As I Am” featuring new music for trumpet by women composers. Kate also frequently performs on Broadway and in other regional musical theater productions both in and outside of the NYC area. ... more

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