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Foreign Bodies
Duration - 21:00
Instrumentation - two pianists, two percussionists

“For as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a herdsman, or a critical critic, and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another
tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.”

Though I have certainly not thoroughly engaged with all of Marx’s work, I have long thought of this quote—from his 1846 book The German Ideology—to be quite beautiful. My focus here is not necessarily on “communist society”, but rather: stepping in and out of systems, binaries, equivalencies, using them when they are needed and rejecting them when they are not; the freedom and power that comes with the realization that different worlds are possible, and that they can be attained by coming together in ways different from what we are told and different from who we are told to be. Foreign Bodies is a metaphor for moving past alienation. The music is in a perpetual state of becoming, attacking separation by finding different ways for the musicians to relate to each other real time—one thing today and another tomorrow!

The piece culminates with the musicians speaking as they build up to a full consciousness of the quote. I have adapted it in a fragmentary manner; this text is duplicated below:

Piano 1 - Ben Rieke

Piano 2 - Matthew Schultheis

Percussion 1 - jc clancy

Percussion 2 - Will Hopkins

foreign bodies lyrics sheet.jpg
foreign bodies lyrics sheet (1).jpg
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