Composer Ted Hearne mixes music and politics

Composer and USC Thornton faculty member Ted Hearne recently released a new album, Sound from the Bench. The politically-charged album features the Philadelphia-based Crossing Choir, conducted by Donald Nally, performing four of Hearne’s works with guitarists Taylor Levine and James Moore and drummer Ron Wiltrout. Sound from the Bench explores subjects including the Iraq War, white privilege, and the Supreme Court’s “Citizen’s United” decision, in a collection which WQXR radio describes as “Fusing entertainment and bewilderment, beauty and hideousness in a sonic space in which it is safe to laugh, cry, foam at the mouth and rejoice.”

Hearne’s critically acclaimed oratorio, The Source, has also received accolades since its February run in San Francisco. In an interview with the New York Times, Hearne said, “We have a huge need for real journalism, for good reporting and for truth… But the power of art and music to blur all those boundaries and enact a sort of feeling, to free words from their need to be specific, that is a totally different type of truth… That’s the role of art: a different truth, a better truth.”

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