I finished the first draft of War Dirge this morning. It is the third movement of my new orchestral composition, Hindu Kush. The second movement, Women's Ghazal, is posted here.
Here's a link to the MIDI version of War Dirge.
I was going to write about the specific awfulness of the Predator and Reaper drones that we are currently using in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and - reportedly - in other countries. They are a kind of automation of the war process that frightens me. Instead, I wrote a more general lament on the overall unstoppability of the war process that the drones are a part of.
War Dirge is a passacaglia. A theme in the bass line is repeated seven times, with some alteration, as it passes from the lowest voices into the tenor and alto lines, then back down. Each iteration of the bass theme attempts to portray a new mood.
Judy said it isn't as awful as the war is, but that it works. I hope so. We won't find out until May 14th, when it gets played by real, live people.