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The Tension of Opposites: Effecting Change through music

2009-10-21

Ferraro is the composer of “The Tension of Opposites,” a large-scale musical work that some have called “orchestral journalism” because it aims to present real-life issues to the audience.

Matthew Ferraro
Composer

“People call the Tension of Opposites a spiritual work, and it’s about effecting change and trying to create dialogue and understanding.”

Through a series of five abstract musical “movements,” Ferraro presents the most important archetypes that shape the mold of humanity, like man vs. nature, rich versus poor, and life vs. death.

It takes about 300 people to perform The Tension of Opposites including an adult chorus and two kids’ choruses. The work features ambient sounds, voices and a rare appearance by representatives of the five major faiths performing together on stage: a Catholic priest, a rabbi, an imam, a Buddhist monk, and a Hindu priest.

Matthew Ferraro
Composer

“I researched the five religions and consulted theologians, looked into all of the texts from the bible, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Torah, all of that, the Koran, everything. Then I combined it and let the texts sort of happen. And then that’s what formed the libretto of the piece.”

Before The Tension of Opposites Matthew orchestrated music for popular TV shows and movies like The Incredibles.

It took him a decade to finish The Tension of Opposites, which debuted at the Barbican theatre in London this year.

For all the ugliness that exists in the world, this composer’s ultimate goal is to leave people with a dialogue and a message of positivity through the power of music.

Matthew Ferraro
Composer

“I feel we live in a world where everything that people value is the opposite of what they should value. And that’s just it, I wanted to try and effect change with the work.”

Whether you call it “orchestral journalism” or simply “beautiful music,” Matthew Ferraro hopes that his work will continue to inspire people to find a positive light in a dark world.

RS/JN