Frederic Rzewski’s “Coming Together” (1971)
4 Jun 2018
Aaron Ball performs Rzewski’s minimalist masterpiece “Coming Together” (1971) and its companion piece, “Attica” (1972) with the Valley Chamber Ensembles as part of VCE’s Music + Movement concert on November 11, 2017. Dubbed the "Mad Bomber" by the media, Sam Melville, a member of the Weather Underground (a revolutionary organization committed to fighting racism and imperialism), found himself at Attica Prison in September of 1970 after receiving an eighteen-year sentence for setting explosives in government buildings in protest against the Vietnam War. Historian Heather Ann Thompson explains that "As Melville saw it, the war would never end until the United States experienced firsthand the destruction it wrought abroad." A year later, on Sept 9, I 971, nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. Holding guards and civilian employees hostage, the prisoners negotiated with officials for improved conditions duri
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