UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Am're Ford (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Alejandro Rutty

Abstract: Unrest is a twenty-one minute long piece written for chamber ensemble. Inspiration for the piece is drawn from the struggles that Black Americans face with regard to police brutality and social injustices, with extensive references to the Black Lives Matter movement. The two outer movements, Prologue and Epilogue provide an introduction and closure to the piece, while the inner four movements provide snapshots of scenes where innocent Black lives were taken; namely: Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and Tamir Rice. When I began planning this piece, I wanted to make sure that the strong messages of the Black Lives Matter movement translated to the music I composed. I wanted to create something that was meaningful and powerful. I did this by making references to songs relevant to the community. I reference “Going Up Yonder” by Tramaine Hawkins in the Prologue and Epilogue movements and “Beef” by Lil’ Durk in Jordan. “Going Up Yonder” is often sung at funerals in the Black community and “Beef” was the song that played in the car when Jordan Davis was shot and killed. These songs already had connections to situations related to the Black Lives Matter movement, thus making it easier make connections in the music. The four inner movements seek to take on the scene where the individual was killed and convey the scene musically. This is achieved by mimicking the sounds of the crowd in the YouTube video that contains footage recorded at the shooting death of Eric Garner, referencing the melody from “Going Up Yonder” in the Prologue and Epilogue movements, and using rhythmic and harmonic content from “Beef” in Jordan. For the movements for which there was no musical reference, I used the background story to created unique soundscapes that depicted the characters and their emotions. Unrest is a piece that draws on the strength of the Black Lives Matter movement and forces the listener to deal with the issues associated with it. It is a piece that addresses current social issues in the United States of America in an evocative and meaningful way. This thesis will also include an overview of music in social and political movements and an explanation of how the piece was constructed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Black lives matter, Music, Political, Social
Chamber music $v Scores
African Americans $x Civil rights $v Songs and music
African Americans $x Crimes against $v Songs and music
Police brutality $v Songs and music
Protest movements $v Songs and music

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