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Powerplant / Graham Fitkin - Chain of Command

Joby Burgess plays an extract from Graham Fitkin's "Chain of Command" from the album 24 Lies Per Second.

I have collaborated with British composer Graham Fitkin for more than a decade, initially through my performances with ensemblebash and more recently with his own Fitkin Band. In 2008 I asked Graham if he would write for my electronic mallet controller, the xylosynth - described by The Guardian as “a hybrid instrument somewhere between a xylophone and a synthesiser”. The resulting Chain of Command is constructed entirely from vocal samples taken from speeches by George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, about Guantanamo, the Iraq war and the inquiry into prisoner abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib. Carefully edited and manipulated syllables are slowly rebuilt using live looping into words and phrases over the 12 minutes of this confrontational and direct work, which examines the use of constantly looped, loud music, 24 hours a day, as torture at Guantanamo.