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Sound from the Bench

by Ted Hearne & The Crossing

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about

As one of the most socially conscious young composers in contemporary classical music, Ted Hearne has drawn on a multitude of influences to create Sound from the Bench—his first project for Cantaloupe Music.

The title piece also features the edgy electric guitars of Dither’s Taylor Levine and James Moore, as well as the rhythmic flourishes of percussionist Ron Wiltrout. Taken as a whole, this is some of Hearne’s most wide-ranging and adventurous work—a siren call that resonates with unusual passion in these politically charged times.

Clocking in at 40 minutes, this probing exploration of the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision is brilliantly scored for choir, electric guitars, and drums/percussion. Hearne lifts texts from Jena Osman's Corporate Relations, a collection of poems that follows the historical trajectory of corporate personhood in the United States. The five movements combine language taken from landmark Supreme Court Cases with words from ventriloquism textbooks.

As the piece progresses, the human voices are "thrown" and thrown over by the mechanical and menacing voices of the electric guitars. Says Hearne, "I strive toward a polyphony of oppositional voices and perspectives in my music, and to bring the chaotic forces of life into the work itself. It was this impulse, and the unabashedly political tone of Osman's poetry, that made me want to set some part of Corporate Relations to music.”

Sound from the Bench shares a program with three other recent pieces by Hearne that, in the words of The Crossing's conductor, Donald Nally, are “fundamentally about asking questions—questions about the world we live in, about art, and about language and music.” Hearne’s virtuosic and hauntingly beautiful musical settings entice, repulse, and surprise in turns, as he interweaves texts from the Iraq War Logs ('Ripple'), Bill Moyer’s 2009 interview with The Wire creator David Simon ('Privilege'), and the 2013 case of rape by high school students in Steubenville, Ohio ('Consent'). The Crossing has recorded these four works for release on Cantaloupe Music, on an album produced by Nick Tipp and titled after the anchoring work.

credits

released March 24, 2017

THE CROSSING (Donald Nally, conductor)
Taylor Levine, electric guitar
James Moore, electric guitar
Ron Wiltrout, drums

Produced by Nick Tipp and Ted Hearne
Engineer: Nick Tipp
Assistant Engineer: Dave Schonauer
Editing: Mike Tierney and Nick Tipp
Mixing: Nick Tipp
Additional Mastering: Benjamin Maas
Recorded at Morningstar Studios in Norristown, PA, September 2016

Artwork: Seth Gadsden
Graphic Design: Traci Larson
Text for Sound from the Bench: Jena Osman

Executive producers: Michael Gordon, David Lang, Kenny Savelson and Julia Wolfe
Label manager: Bill Murphy
Cantaloupe sales manager: Adam Cuthbert

THE CROSSING:
Katy Avery
Jessica Beebe
Karen Blanchard
Steven Bradshaw
Colin Dill
Micah Dingler
Robert Eisentrout
Allie Faulkner
Ryan Fleming
Joanna Gates
Dimitri German
Steven Hyder
Michael Jones
Heather Kayan
Mark Laseter
Chelsea Lyons
Maren Montalbano
Rebecca Myers
Rebecca Oehlers
Daniel Schwartz
Rebecca Siler
Daniel Spratlan
Elisa Sutherland
Jason Weisinger

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about

Ted Hearne Brooklyn, New York

Ted writes and performs music. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Track Name: Consent
i want you
i want to

i want you
i want to

i want you
i want to

I do.

I was thinking penetrating thoughts about you
It will be good, we can do it, and we need it.

It can be taken from me - even from the shirt on my back.

I was thinking penetrating thoughts about you
It will be good, we can do it, and we need it
I miss you too, in a heart-aching kind of way.

All of it shall be mortgageable and bound as security -
It can be taken from me - even from the shirt on my back.

I do.
I just took care of your daughter.

* * *

Declare your consent
The missing you hurts
You’ll be in it soon
What a way to feel
Who gives this woman

* * *

i want you
i want to

All of it shall be mortgageable -
I just took care of your daughter
and bound as security -
she said you could take a picture

i want you
i want to

I just took care of your daughter and made sure she was safe
she was so in love with me that night
I ask you to state your intentions

All of it shall be mortgageable and bound as security -
it can be taken from me, even from the shirt on my back -
during my lifetime and after this lifetime,
this day and forever.

I just took care of your daughter and made sure she was safe
she said you could take a picture
she looks dead lmao

* * *
I do.

I was thinking penetrating thoughts about you
It will be good, we can do it, and we need it.
I miss you too, in a heart-aching kind of way
I’m really looking forward to adding to it

All of it can be mortgageable and bound as security -
it can be taken from me - even from the shirt on my back -
during my lifetime and after this lifetime
this day and forever

How have you been holding out on me with that picture for so long?
she said you could take a picture
oh i am looking at all my pictures of you

You don’t even want to know what I’m imagining you doing right now
she was so in love with me that night
Declare your consent before God

I just took care of your daughter when she was drunk

* * *

This original amount, I accept upon myself and my heirs after me -
It can be paid from the best part of my property and possessions
that I own under all the heavens.
All of it shall be mortgageable and bound as security -
it can be taken from me - even from the shirt on my back -
during my lifetime and after this lifetime -
from this day and forever.

even from the shirt on my back
she said you could take a picture
I refuse to get excited

Will you accept children lovingly from God?
Declare your consent before God and the church.

I felt knowing what was right
she looks dead lmao
i just took care of your daughter

but i also know we are equal to almost any…
she said you could take a picture

Who gives this woman?



text:
love letters I wrote in 2006
love letters my father wrote in 1962

The Catholic Rite of Marriage
Traditional Jewish Ketubah (Wedding contract)

text messages by Trent Mays and Lucas Herrington,
used as evidence in the Steubenville Rape Trial, 2013
Track Name: Sound from the Bench 1. How to throw your voice
Inhale.
Take a deep breath.
Draw in as much air as possible.

Don't sound obvious.

Avoid gasping.
Raise your tongue.

Position the back of your tongue so it touches your soft palate.
When the mouth is closed the tongue comes in close contact with the roof
A curtain of flesh, the soft palate
The throat and mouth in distinct chambers.

Exert pressure.
Let out a groan.
The ventriloquial drone.

text culled by JENA OSMAN and TED HEARNE
from “How to throw your voice” (www.wikihow.com/Throw-Your-Voice) and Ventriloquism (1906) by Charles Henry Olin
Track Name: Sound from the Bench 2. Mouth piece
No mouth.
The very heart.

text by Jena Osman
adapted from First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti 435 U.S. 765 (1978)
Track Name: Sound from the Bench 3. (Ch)oral argument
a narrowly tailored remedy to that interest.
Apostoli
--to use the words of one Justice, that is ventriloquist-speak.
I would say that it is more like surrogate speech.

JUSTICE GINSBERG: Who is the "you" ?
Apostoli
people think representatives are being bought, okay?
Apostoli, Alleluia.
the line dissolves on practical application.
Apostoli
it is said the distinction requires the use of magic words
the words of the statute were "any person,"
Apostoli
as if we have an unbroken amount of years

we gave some really weird interpretations

— the Earth is not —

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Why don't you tell us now.
We will give you time for rebuttal.
[Laughter]
JUSTICE SCALIA: Don't keep us in suspense.
[Laughter]

they want winners
if it has to lose, the answer is yes
they want winners
presumably as a poison pill
they want winners
individuals are more complicated than that


we couldn't sever it based on the language

there is no place where an ongoing chill is more dangerous

these corporations have a lot of money
variis linguis Apostoli, Alleluia.
we get to that when we get there.

you are not talking about the railroad barons and the rapacious trusts

they wear a scarlet letter that says "C"
but it is a nightmare that Congress endorsed.

is that a yes?
is that a yes?

text by Jena Osman
culled from Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010)
Track Name: Sound from the Bench 4. Simple surgery
What I thought was a sudden chip in
the metal was actually a drop of
water one foot in the front of the
metal, my eye joining the two in a
simple surgery

by Jena Osman
(from "The Character")
Track Name: Sound from the Bench 5. When you hear
when you hear that distant sounding drone,
you know you have your mouth as it should be

text by Jena Osman
culled from Ventriloquism (1906) by Charles Henry Olin
Track Name: Ripple
I.
The marine that engaged from Post 7 was unable to determine the occupants of the vehicle due to the reflection of the sun coming off the windshield.

II.
due to the

III.
of the sun

IV.
The marine that engaged

V.
determine

VI.
the reflection of the sun

VII.
occupants

VIII.
The marine that engaged from Post 7 was unable to determine the occupants of the vehicle due to the reflection of the sun coming off the windshield.

Text from an internal U.S. Dept. of Defense military cable describing an incident that took place on July 22, 2005 in Fallujah, Iraq, released in 2010 by WikiLeaks and its media partners.

http://warlogs.wikileaks.org/id/0DB5B033-3131-4080-822E-8B0FAD1C1764/
Track Name: Privilege 1. motive/mission
you were always fair
you were almost always kind
weren't you?

you always reached out your hand
you almost always refused to lie
didn't you?

you wouldn't shut your shining eyes
would you?

(Ted Hearne)
Track Name: Privilege 2. casino
it's almost like a casino
you're looking at the guy winning,
you're looking at the guy who pulled the lever
and all the bells go off
and all the coins are coming
out of a one-armed bandit
and you're thinking
that could be me.
i'll play by those rules.

(David Simon, from an interview on Bill Moyers Journal, broadcast April 17, 2009)
Track Name: Privilege 3. burning tv song
flashing window
empty street
burning tv song

flashing window
empty street
burning tv song

flashing window
empty street
burning tv song
stay

(Ted Hearne)
Track Name: Privilege 4. they get it
we pretend to need them
we pretend to educate the kids

but we don’t

and they're not foolish
they get it

(David Simon, from an interview on Bill Moyers Journal, broadcast April 17, 2009)
Track Name: Privilege 5. we cannot leave
we cannot leave
this land of our ancestors
on this earth

we are being killed by the monster
on this earth

shuku shuku (the sound of the train)
i want to get on the train
to get on the train in the morning
i want
oh mother, it's leaving me behind!

("As'kwaz'ukuhamba," traditional Xhosa anti-apartheid song, translation by Patiswa Nombona and Mollie Stone, 2003)