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Vijay Iyer

Song for Flint

for solo viola

Duration10'
CommissionCommissioned by Miller Theatre at Columbia University for the Year of Water 2019-20
PremiereOctober 24, 2019; Miller Theatre at Columbia University; New York City; Kyle Armbrust, viola
PublisherSchott Music

Program Note

Judith Butler defines “precarity” as the unequal distribution of precariousness. These are precarious times, in which access to safe clean water is an endangered human right, increasingly under siege by the damage to the planet brought about by humankind’s excesses. But this is also an epoch of systemic inequality, in which corporations, municipalities, and nation-states can and do inflict incremental or drastic harm on entire vulnerable populations, through war, deregulated pollution, and the differential withholding of basic life needs. Jasbir Puar has called out this cruel, largely unchecked capacity of the powerful, which she critically labels “the right to maim.” The people of Flint, Michigan became a historic example of a living population subjected to this kind of violence, in the form of environmental racism. In this Year of Water, I offer this piece, and my commission, to the children of Flint.

– Vijay Iyer
New York City
October 2, 2019

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solo part and piano reduction (Digital)

solo part and piano reduction (Print)

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Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Print)

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Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Digital)


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