Soldiers don’t wage wars. The men in suits who send them to die do. American Glory turns the words that kill into music. From JFK’s Vietnam to Obama’s Afghanistan American presidents' rousing speeches turn into bitter irony when they are woven into an epic symphonic landscape depicting the horror of war.
Sound bites from original speech recordings of FDR, Harry Truman, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Dick Chaney, and Barak Obama are used as musical material in the work.
Composer Peter Elyakim Taussig has been fascinated for a long time with turning unlikely prose into music. In his award winning 1990 video opera Catatonics, set in the financial district of Toronto, Canada, he used stock quotes and traders’ jargon for his libretto. In 2000 he wrote the Associated Press song cycle, using unedited short clippings from news items as his lyrics.
The expansive musical style of American Glory uses a virtual symphony orchestra, sound effects, and various pop influences. Some movements recall the bombast of Hollywood and video game soundtracks, others are gritty contemporary/classical, and others yet are unashamedly Romantic.