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THE CANDIDATE for Trumpet, 2 Horns, 2 Trombones, and Tape

(Score in C)

Instrumentation Bb Trumpet (straight, harmon, and bucket mutes) 2 F Horns (straight mutes) 2 Trombones (straight, harmon, and bucket mutes) Tape Duration: 8 minutes Transcript “is is Harvey Milk speaking from the camera store on the evening of Friday, November 18th. is is to be played only in the event of my death by assassination. I fully realize that a person who stands for what I stand for—an activist, gay activist—becomes the target, or the potential target, for somebody who is insecure, terrified, afraid, or very disturbed themselves. Knowing that I could be assassinated at any moment, at any time, I feel it's important that some people know my thoughts. “I have never considered myself a candidate. I have always considered myself part of a movement, part of a candidacy. I consider the movement the candidate. “I cannot prevent some people from getting angry and frustrated and mad, but I hope they'll take their anger and frustration and madness and instead of demonstrating or anything of that type I would hope they'd take it to politics, and I'd hope that five, ten, a hundred thousand would rise. I'd love to see every gay doctor come out. I'd love to see every gay lawyer, every gay judge, every gay bureaucrat, every gay architect come out, stand up, let the world know. at would do more to end prejudice overnight than anybody could ever imagine. I urge them to do that. I URGE them to come out. Only that way will we start to achieve our rights. “I ask the movement to continue, the movement to grow, because last week I got that phone call from Altoona, Pennsylvania, and my election gave somebody else—one more person—hope. And after all, that's what it's about. It's not about personal gain, not about ego, not about power. It's about giving those young people out there—in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias—hope. “Gotta give 'em hope.”

Program Note

"Harvey Milk" is not yet a household name. But it should be: He was the first openly gay person ever elected to public office in the United States, serving eleven months on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors before another supervisor, Dan White, shot and killed both Milk and Mayor George Moscone on November 27, 1978. Milk had been receiving increasing numbers of death threats as his political profile rose, and shortly after his election he recorded on tape a sort of last political will and testament, "to be played only in the event of my death by assassination." at tape itself—at once grippingly strong and painfully intimate—is the beating heart of e Candidate, and I felt more like an archaeologist than a composer as I wrote my music. Clearing away nearly four decades of dust and debris, I tried to discover and reveal the music already present beneath his voice and his words, rather than impose music upon him. It is my hope that, in listening, the effect Milk's words and his courage have had on me as a gay man will be obvious. is music is my small attempt to reach out to him across time and space and death, to say, as that child from Altoona, Pennsylvania called him after his election to say, "thanks."


brass; chamber; electr[on]ic; score

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