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L'Homme Armé

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Published on Dec 9, 2007

Theremin: Melissa Dunphy
Soprano: Chrissy McHugh
Clarinet: Skip Hale
French Horn: Brittany Iler
Cell: Ioana Shapiro
Conductor: Dan Shapiro


L'Homme Armé was conceived in response t o two major influences: a study of early music, in particular the mensuration canons of Ockeghem, and a sense of outrage at the glorification of gun violence in American culture. Over a bed of grabs and samples captured from news broadcasts covering events such as the Iraq war and the Virginia Tech massacre, the five instruments weave a contrapuntal treatment - including a mensuration canon and cantus firmi in ordinary and retrograde forms - of the popular and oft-used t une L'Homme Armé. Considered a call to arms during the medieval Crusades to the Middle East, the lyrics take on a chilling meaning when embedded in the modern context of senseless violence and a national obsession with security: The armed man should be feared / Everywhere it has been proclaimed / That each man shall arm himself / With a coat of iron mail / The armed man should be feared.

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