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THE ORCHESTRA ROCKS

“The Brightest of All Possible Futures”

Earl Maneein

Student Participation: Singing, Listening

Composer Earl Maneein was commissioned by Carnegie Hall to write a piece for The Orchestra Rocks. He wanted to include the voices of students in his piece “The Brightest of All Possible Futures” as both performers and artistic contributors to the work. He invited Link Up students to write responses to some of the prompts below. Maneein then incorporated these written responses into the text that is performed in his piece.

Students can respond to these two sets of questions through class discussion, free-writing, or other ways that their teachers may choose. The first set of questions is meant to serve as a foundation for the second set.
  • Set One
    • What is a problem or challenge that you’ve experienced in your life?
    • How did that experience make you feel?
    • What was a positive action you took to address the problem or challenge?
  • Set Two
    • What is a problem or challenge that the world is facing?
    • How does that problem or challenge make you feel?
    • What steps can we take to address the problem or challenge? What can each person do, and what can we all do together?
    • What is the brightest future you can imagine? What does it look and feel like?
  • Invite your students to explore these same questions. From their responses, as a group, select key lines or phrases that best express the thoughts and feelings that were shared.
  • Compare the text of the piece to your students’ responses.
    • Does the text of the piece express similar thoughts and feelings to the ones that you expressed?
    • Why or why not?

“The Brightest of All Possible Futures”

If this keeps going, we’re all dead.
We see no peace.
Our world’s gone mad.
We are not safe. We are not safe.
We are not safe. We are not safe.

Global pandemic, protest, and fires,
In isolation
I fear the world won’t be the same ever again.
Our world’s gone mad.
No peace, no hope, no peace.
This must all change now. This must change.
This must all change now. This must change.
We will be the change,
We will be, we will be the change.

My country ‘tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
I wished for superpowers.
I would make the world happy.
All with love and kindness,
Maybe a flying car or two.
My country ‘tis of thee,
Stronghold of slavery,
Of thee I sing.
May we be happy.
May we be well.
May we no longer suffer.
May our enemies be happy.
May our enemies be well.
May our enemies not suffer.
We are all connected,
One and the same!
We will love each other
Like we love ourselves!
We will love each other
Like we love ourselves!
The brightest of all possible futures
Is just us!

Audio

Video

“Yama” performed by SEVEN)SUNS

Composer Bio

Earl Maneein

Earl Maneein (b. 1976) is a violinist and composer whose artistic output stands at the unlikely crossroads of Western classical music, heavy metal, and hardcore punk. He is the founder of and main composer for the string quartet SEVEN)SUNS, a group that reflects this nexus of musical styles. ...

Earl Maneein (b. 1976) is a violinist and composer whose artistic output stands at the unlikely crossroads of Western classical music, heavy metal, and hardcore punk. He is the founder of and main composer for the string quartet SEVEN)SUNS, a group that reflects this nexus of musical styles. Maneein’s unusual artistic voice is the result of his history playing and participating in the metal and hardcore scene, forming his first punk band at 14, and sometimes showing up to violin lessons with a black eye and a grin on his face. He has received commissions and performances of his music from soloist Rachel Barton Pine, the Phoenix Symphony, hardcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan, and The Dance Theater of Harlem, among others.

Earl Maneein

Photography by Elle Pérez

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