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60​.​8% for bass flute and electronics

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lyrics

I'm currently working on edits for this piece while checking in on the last minute campaigning going on in Greece that will end in tomorrow's election. The country has been in what is often called a crisis since the worldwide economic crisis in 2008. Pay no attention to the ridiculous use of the term crisis to describe something that is a day to day reality for over ten million people six years and counting. This 'crisis' was the jumping off point for this piece.

It's easy to find opinions on the causes and solutions to Greece's current problems, but for this piece I wasn't as interested in economics or politics as that day to day reality. The heartbreaking stories of people unable to even find job opportunities, nevermind actual work that paid when it said it would, was much more interesting than the nuts and bolts of austerity measures. There was one number that seemed meaningful, however, and that was 60.8%. This was the peak unemployment rate for young Greeks. Imagine the stories of disillusion and struggle behind that number. Even more compelling to me is that these young Greeks inherited this crisis at no fault of their own. A number that large seemed insurmountable to fix. I have my doubts that a single election could do so, but that doesn't stop me from watching over here in America with hopeful eyes.

Parts of this piece have been borrowed from the musical style rebetiko, popular amongst rebels in Greece around turn of the last century. This music was often sung in bars and prisons accompanying stories of sad tales. The elements of rebetiko that I have explored include the form, pitch sets, rhythmic grooves, and instrumentation. The piece is not attempting to mimic the style, but rather use it as inspiration. As such, many of these elements were used in a very broad way that allowed for changes when it served the piece. Ultimately, the piece tries to capture the monotonous discouraging feeling that must come from waking up daily in an environment that has few opportunities to offer. - Douglas Laustsen

credits

from Pheromone, released November 13, 2015
60.8% for bass flute and electronics by Douglas Laustsen

Meerenai Shim, bass flute

Engineered by Alberto Hernandez at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California. Mastered by George Horn and Anne-Marie Suenram.
Produced by Meerenai Shim
Art by Adam T. Davis
meerenai.com
aerocademusic.com

Copyright 2015 Meerenai Shim and Aerocade Music

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about

Meerenai Shim Campbell, California

Flutist and jack of many trades, Meerenai Shim is 1/2 of the flute/percussion duo, A/B Duo, and 1/5 of the chiptune/folk/doom/jazz band The Mineral Kingdom. She has released 3 solo albums and founded the indie classical record label Aerocade Music.

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