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Fool's Paradise

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Small Ensemble
2019
6 min.

Cello

Clarinet

Flute

Harp

Piano

Pitched Percussion

Violin

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Program Notes
Deriving its roots from the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, Fool's Paradise recounts the experience of an architectural design constructed to transmit to its inhabitants a sense of omnipotent authority. Under this ambiguous oppressor, the inhabitants are trapped in a state of insecurity as they are constantly reminded of this all-seeing and all-hearing force in their intra- and interpersonal encounters. Their futile attempts at escape and perfidy are always subdued by such reminders of their self-doubt, until the almighty ruler debilitates all of them to ultimately monopolize the construction. To compose this narrative into a piece, I have set the instruments as both the embodiment and the captives of the omnipotent eye. Fool’s Paradise, with the allegory of an uncanny and dystopic collectivist society it creates, questions the dynamics of conformity and resistance fluctuating within the despotic walls of a finite environment.