Beyond the Walls of Jericho
- Paul Dolden
- Year composed: 1991-92, 2013
- Duration: 17:19
- Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
- Premiere: February 5, 1992, Clair de terre 3: Concert 3: Musique excessive, Planétarium de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)
In part three of the Walls Cycle, Beyond the Walls of Jericho, the discourses of social theory and personal history that informed the first and second movements of music are perceived to be futile. This abandonment of history and time in the final movement acts as a metaphor for our present and future culture in which hyper-speed and violence make everything, including history, simultaneously present. In other words the acceleration of our culture in terms of images and ideas creates a point at which everything seems to be happening at once and the maintenance of a linear historical perspective, with its revolutionary eruptions, is no longer meaningful.
This simultaneity is musically alluded to several times in the composition by the use of several hundred solos occurring at once. Each solo has its own narrative and history but when all of them are combined together such narrative structures dissolve into one large sound field, often without clear beginning or ending. This breakdown of a linear time perspective and the resulting loss of our musical and social subjectivity creates a feeling of absence and a perception of stasis. However one virtue of this constantly temporary and mobile state is that it allows for the remapping of experience and existence or, in other words, allows us to reinvent ourselves.
In this manner my final thoughts on the revolutionary potential of music is that it lies in the æsthetic moment of perception. It is at that moment of æsthetic perception in which our day-to-day realities dissolve and there is a suspension of linear time that the possibility of new thought or feeling, revolutionary or otherwise, can begin.
Beyond the Walls of Jericho was produced in the composer’s studio in 1991 and 1992. It was premiered at the Association pour la recherche et la création électroacoustiques du Québec (