Minority Opinion

Work Type: Choral / Vocal, Classical

Instrumentation: SSAA chorus and optional percussion

Duration: 8 minutes

1. Cocktail
2. List
3. Processing

I’m very uncomfortable with writing music that is openly political in nature for a whole host of reasons. I can only hope that I succeed in expressing my opinions without imposing them.

Cocktail, composed in 2006, is a setting of recipe for Molotov Cocktails, a common and easily made weapon.  I chose that subject because I was looking for a way to express my anger and despair about the erosion of Americans’ ability to disagree with the government in a public forum, and the frightening truth that in a society in which dissenters are denied recourse to open and public debate, many will turn to violence in the belief that it’s the only means of making themselves heard.

List, composed in 2007, is a litany for the Hollywood Ten, a group of men who were persecuted, blacklisted, and imprisoned for their refusal to testify to the House Un-American Activities Committee, and their outspoken criticism of McCarthyism.

Processing, composed in 2008, takes its text from the chapter headings of the operations manual for one of the detention camps located in Guantanamo Bay.  The manual was uploaded to, a website developed to allow anonymous posting of confidential government, business, and religious documents by and for dissidents and whistleblowers around the world.


I. Cocktail

Fill a glass bottle partly full with gasoline.

Stop up the bottle with an airtight plug.

Fix a rag to the bottle’s mouth.

Set it aflame.

The bottle shatters on impact and spills out the gasoline.

The liquid covers the target and is ignited by the burning rag.

The weapon has properties similar to napalm.


II. List

Alvah Bessie

Herbert Biberman

Lester Cole

Edward Dymytryk

Ring Lardner Jr.

John Howard Lawson

Albert Maltz

Samuel Ornitz

Adrian Scott

Dalton Trumbo


III. Processing

Chapter 4: Detainee Processing

4-1 Purpose

4-2 Initial Processing

4-3 Documents

4-4 Preparation for Processing

4-5 Personnel Requirements

4-6 In-Processing Procedures

4-7 MP Escort Responsibilities

4-8 Clothing Removal Room (Station 1)


Detainee remains shackled while clothing is cut off and disposed of.


4-9 Shower (Station 2)

4-10 Cavity Search (Station 3)

4-11 Dressing/Shackle Exchange (Station 4)

4-12 DNA Sample (Station 5)

4-13 Height And Weight (Station 6)

4-14 DRS In-Processing (Station 7)

4-15 ID Wristband/Dossier (Station 8)

4-16 Fingerprint (Station 9)

4-17 Camp Rules (Station 10)

4-18 Post processing

4-19 Reporting

4-20 Behavior Management Plan

Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures effective 3/1/2004, Joint Task Force – Guantanamo.  Uploaded to on 12/3/2007

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