When approaching this class and what the final project would entail, I had a strong vision of creating a composition that implements the saxophone, live effects, and fixed media. The idea of adding this element of live electronics to my saxophone performance repertoire is something that I’ve sought after for many years, as I have implemented electronics in my performing with bands in the past, through the use of effects pedals processing the sound of the saxophone, much like a guitar or bassist would. In the case of my composition for this class, Servitude/Suffering, I have utilized a variety of different triggering mechanisms — from different notes on the saxophone, to the use of a Bluetooth foot pedal, to navigate through an array of effects and timbres that combine fixed media with live electronics.
When it comes to the fixed media used in the composition, I took a series of field recordings of the different protests that have been happening on campus due to the graduate workers’ strike. Being a graduate worker myself, this issue is something I hold very closely to me. While the university is the sole entity that allows me to have a roof over my head and food on my table, it doesn’t come without long hours, underrepresentation in the face of university administration, in addition to the need to have supplemental income in order to survive as a student. Part of my reasoning for turning these impassioned issues into a musical form, is to express solidarity and confidence in my colleagues, with the hope that our struggle wasn’t for nothing.