ANTHONY R. GREEN: To Anacreon in the US
The creative output of composer, performer, and social justice artist Anthony R. Green includes musical and visual creations, collaborations, educational outreach, and more. Behind all of his artistic endeavors are the ideals of equality and freedom, which manifest themselves in diverse ways throughout his body of work. In his preface of To Anacreon in the US (2019), Green writes: “The conclusion of Feux d’artifice—the last piano prelude by Claude Debussy—ends with a low rumbling and a quotation of Le Marseillaise. Before this section, Debussy demands powerful, ascending chords (5-note chords in the left hand). To Anacreon in the US takes the national anthem (hymn) of the USA (which is originally a formal British drinking song entitled To Anacreon in Heaven), and applies a similar Debussy-esque process, along with permutations, elongations, zen counterpoint, ostinati, displacement, and pianistic gestures that all stem from the melody to The Star-Spangled Banner. The last gesture is a bold, chordal statement—the chord that would have been composed if Debussy continued his ascending gesture on that brilliant last page.” The five minute piece can be performed as either a postlude to the Debussy or as a stand-alone prelude in its own right.