Performed by Victor Garcia-Gaetán
Buy score at HoneyRock Publishing
Andrew Martin is a robot that seeks to become a part of humanity in Isaac Asimov’s short story “The Bicentennial Man”. The glockenspiel is a common instrument in the percussion family, yet its voice is not often heard alone. Here, the glockenspiel depicts Andrew’s isolation in his struggle to find his place as a robot among humans. His longing for acceptance and creative nature is portrayed in the opening melody, yet so too are his mechanical limitations. The rhythm and melodic gestures of the piece become freer as Andrew’s understanding of human nature expands. In the violent middle section, Andrew copes with brutality and prejudice from humans. He is commanded to dismember himself and imagines the full horror of this event before a passing friend fortunately saves him. Finally, the work culminates with the return of the opening theme, now more liberated as Andrew has become fully organic. He understands that all humans must perish, and much of what it means to be human is to live with this uncertainty. The piece closes as Andrew dies, at last truly a man.