- commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition
Latest and Greatest is inspired by a Sioux Native American proverb: “This is the fire that will help the generations to come, if they use it in a sacred manner. But if they do not use it well, the fire will have the power to do them great harm.”
In Edward Steichen’s groundbreaking The Family of Man (1955) photography exhibition, this quote was originally paired with images related to the postwar atomic age. In context of today, the “fire” could also metaphorically describe humanity’s profound relationship with personal technology and its manifest and latent consequences. While we relish in the miniaturization and increased connectivity of our computing devices, the meaninglessness of trivial “got to have” updates for the sake of corporate revenue can often leave us more disconnected with the world. Written in three continuous movements based on the form of a prefabricated sales pitch, Latest and Greatest invites listeners to examine their relationship with technology and critique the benefits of endless progress.
I. The Approach
II. The Closer
III. The Follow-Up