Everything is Alive (Orchestra)
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Flute 1, 2
Oboe 1, 2
B♭ Clarinet 1, 2, 3
B♭ Bass Clarinet
Bassoon 1, 2
F Horn 1, 2, 3, 4
C Trumpet 1, 2, 3
Trombone 1, 2
Everything is Alive is inspired by my favorite podcast of the same title by Radiotopia. The premise of the show is to take a humorous – yet often seriously moving and even dark – look into the inanimate objects humans take for granted in their everyday lives. Every episode, Ian Chillag interviews a new seemingly random object personified by a voice actor (some notable examples: Louis the soda can, Maeve the lamppost, Sean the subway seat, Alligator the toy alligator, Ayo the balloon, and Charu the space satellite). Each object has a unique story, personality, and emotional perspective informed by their interactions with humans. The show usually maintains a fun and light-hearted approach, but it also evokes a surprisingly strong sense of empathy for the objects, who sometimes express sorrow, frustration, or anger with humans for their (from the object’s perspective) malicious, self-centered practices.
Being a long-time devoted listener of Everything is Alive, I often wonder what the world would look like if the inanimate objects we use every day had feelings. What would my umbrella say to me if it was alive? Would my computer keyboard judge me for the things I type on it? What if all the objects banded together, revolted, took over the world, and treated humans as tools for their own benefit?
These fun, absurd, yet thought-provoking questions formed the basis for the narrative of this piece of music.