The works on this CD are part of my Nightmare of
opus which I began composing after the
senseless destruction of the World Trade Center by
terrorists followed by the equally senseless destruction
of Iraq by our government. The title and idea for this
opus is based on a Goya etching entitled "
The Sleep of
Reason Produces Monsters
" which depicts a man who
sleeps while monstrous forms fly about…while reason is
dormant, horrors emerge.

Today’s nightmares are many: an erratic "decider"
who gets his guidance from the spirit world; young
people sent off to be killed and maimed while
favored businesses, such as Haliburton and Exxon
reap windfall profits; torture of prisoners justified by
our "lawmakers;” one of our greatest cities left to perish
by inept political appointees and a Congress that
cares more about pork than people's health. The list
goes on.

My septet
State of the Union is based on the
President’s yearly address to the nation. I’ve taken
some of the words from his bellicose 2005 speech and
set them to music. Part One contains his formula for
peace in Iraq: "There is no peace without victory."
Part Two concerns America's addiction -- really he and
his cronies’ addiction -- to oil. I imagined an AAA
meeting for petroleum fiends. Finally there is his
statement about a "dark vision of hatred and fear", a
self-fulfilling prophecy when you spend $80 billion a
year to send military equipment and armed personnel
abroad. At the end of this part, I have composed a
wordless elegy for the tens of thousands who have
been destroyed in the senseless conflicts of our time.

Roger Rudenstein, 2007
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