Movement 7

Movement 7: Fear of Capture and Break-In

Theme: Fear

 Text:

In the evenings,
when it’s dark,
lines of good innocent people
and crying childrenwalk on and on,
ordered by men who bully
and beat them.
No one is spared,
all are marched to their death.Westerbork! Westerbork!Night after night,
green and grey vehicles
cruise the streets
and knock on every door.Westerbork! Westerbork!Sshh. I heard a sound from the bookcase,
hammering on the door.
We turned white with fear.
Had he heard something, this
stranger?
Open up! Open up!
In my imagination,
the man kept growing and growing,
until he become a giant,
the cruellest fascist in the world.
Translation:Westerbork – A refugee camp in the Netherlands, used as a transit camp to hold Jews before being taken to Auschwitz and Sobibor.

Concept:

Imagine being terrified to be yourself, not being able to celebrate your heritage, having to hide away from the world because people are unaccepting.

Theme in other Musical Examples:

Marilyn Manson – Man That You Fear:

Metallica – Enter Sandman:

Brennisteinn – Sigur Rós:

Bridge Concept:

How would you react if you knew someone purposefully doing harm to other people? How would you feel if there was nothing you could do about it except wait and hope that it would end soon?

Examining the Theme and Historical Context through the Text/Music:

Fear could arguably be described as one of, if not the strongest, human emotion. The text of this movement is meant to instill fear in the listener. The music’s use of dissonance and darker timbres along with the male voices give a sense of a dreading dark terror. The use of the rhythmic unison and the addition of the female voices on “Westerbork” creates a contrast that makes the word standout from all others in the text.

The text is separated into three sections. The first describes what is happening to the people as they are being brought to concentration camps. People are being forced to walk for hours past the point of their physical limits. If they could not walk they were killed. The last line of this section states “all are marched to their deaths.” Whether people died on the march or not, they were still walking towards their deaths.

The second section is much shorter but states that every single night when the people would see these green and grey vehicles they would fear. Every night when they heard this knocking they would have to wonder if this would be the night they were found.

The third section is the second break in. The music starts quietly. The only thing protecting them from being caught is a bookcase. “Open up!” All the voice parts together as though this person is screaming. The violin tremolo combined with the text emulates the fear and anticipation of the moment.

Examining the Historical Context:

The context of this movement is this idea of absolute terror within the Holocaust. The whole piece is centered around the anxiety of what is going to happen if and when someone discovers the hiding place. This movement’s climax is when a stranger discovers where they have been hiding. This is a moment of absolute terror.

Connecting Concepts and Context:

Fear of Deportation

A current controversial topic is deportation. There are thousands of people being deported every single day. There are families that live in constant fear. This is a very controversial topic. One side of the argument stating that these people should come here legally and pay their taxes just like all the other American citizens. The other side says that coming here legally is extremely difficult and vast amounts of the time people are in life and death situations. No matter which side a person is on there are still thousands of people living in fear of being whom they are for fear of some stranger sending them back to a life where they might be in danger.

Columbine High School Massacre

April 20, 1999 was the date of the Columbine High School massacre. On this day 12 students and 1 teacher were murdered and another 21 people were injured as two boys set off bombs and shot people in a school. The terrified reactions of the teachers and the students were sheer terror. As the students and teachers waited hidden in classrooms and under tables they were just hoping that the gunmen would not find them. Although the killers showed signs of racism they did not spare anyone. Not one person in the school was safe.


Next: Movement 8

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