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“Wait, I think I hear a sound…”

Via Talking Points Memo, this reminder: the First Gulf War started on this date, 20 years ago…

The title comes from an approximation of the words spoken by American correspondents in Baghdad at the time the first bombs started falling… A friend of mine was giving a performance that night, a modernist electronic piece who’s name escapes me, but it calls for randomly-selected radio frequencies to be played at varied intervals over a mixed electronic and piano score. As he relayed to me soon after, on that night, every radio station that he tuned into that was carrying a broadcast was carrying the same live broadcast of that first bombing run.

He sat down at the piano, poised his hands above the keys, and the first radio signal that was broadcast right before he started playing was the CNN correspondent hearing the first explosions and anti-aircraft fire of the air war.

Twenty years ago, on this night, my friend gave one of the piano performances of his life, accompanied by air raid siren, ack-ack, and high-tech explosions. Music/static/bombing/static/music/bombing/music/static, for the entire piece.

“Wait, I think I hear a sound…”

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