There is an ancient story, typified by that of David and Goliath, which cuts to the very bone of human vulnerability while offering us hope and promise of overcoming adversity. It is the story of the small individual or group fighting seemingly insurmountable forces, and through skill and determination, not only surviving but prevailing. Furthermore, Goliath was a member of the Philistines, who were perceived by David’s people as not only threatening, but smugly conventional and lacking in culture. (We still use the term “philistine” when we want to describe someone in this way.) Whether it is rage against the machine or the establishment or our boss or the enemy out there or within us, we all have known this battle and so the story is important for our sense of justice and survival.
It is also a morality tale for those with power, particularly nations that bask in the glory of being superpowers. They too are vulnerable to the skill, determination, fear, and resentment of individuals or small groups. This piece is about this age-old struggle.
The work was commissioned by the Otsego County Music Educators Association. Its first performance was in Cooperstown, New York