© 2019 Erik Griswold.

Mendax Redacts (2013)

Baritone, bass clarinet, viola, and electric guitar.

Mendax Redacts is a creative exploration of the world of Julian Assange and Wikileaks (Mendax was Assange’s hacker name in his early days in Australia). The original text was created by my longtime collaborator Craig Foltz. Using Jackson MacLow’s poem “Insect Assassin” as a model, Foltz fashioned an acrostic on the names “Assange” and “Wikileaks” which evokes some of the central issues of his work, while at the same time producing surprising and unexpected word juxtapositions and rhythmic patterns. The piece alternates between carefully scored sections in which music and text fuse together into a single line, and improvisatory sections in which the performers are asked to respond to redacted documents as graphic scores. Mendax Redacts is dedicated to the New York-Montreal Quartet: Thomas Buckner, Lori Freedman, Pemi Paull, and Tim Brady.

"‘America keeping secrets,’ whispered tenor Thomas Buckner, ‘keeping secrets’. The unison chant of the accompanying bass clarinet, viola and electric guitar were equally hushed as composer Erik Griswold made a pointed comment on Wikileaks in his dramatic Mendax Redacts."

- Rosalind Appleby, The West Australian