A Drift of Swine
for flute, clarinet, piano and double bass
Performed by Ecce Ensemble
The title comes from an antiquated term referring to a group of pigs. This struck me as appropriate for several reasons, the most important being the source of inspiration for the piece – the novel Snowball’s Chance, by John Reed. The book, a parody of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, chronicles the return of Snowball the pig, now a staunch laissez-faire capitalist, and the conversion of the farm into a corporate-like entity: the Animal Fair. The single commandment now reads "All animals are born equal–what they become is their own affair." As profits increase, so does general passivity, crime, and pollution – an accelerating downward spiral. While the novel ends with a grim but all too realistic (and animalistic) response to terrible tragedy – those wronged chanting “kill, kill, kill!” – the piece offers a somewhat more optimistic, if enigmatic, conclusion.
A Drift of Swine was commissioned and premiered by Ensemble Pi.