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live remote SATB choir and violin

text from a speech by Harry Hopkins

About the piece

Relief is a 30 minute 8 movement piece with text from a speech by Harry Hopkins, director of the WPA and Secretary of Commerce under FDR. Hopkins’ 1936 speech affirms the importance of dignity in social welfare and the necessity of a society to care for all its members. It was delivered 84 years ago, but this text feels very resonant in this moment and pertinent to some of today's overlapping crises of livable wages, affordable housing, and especially massive unemployment and the relief packages being debated in Congress. The excerpted portions of the speech used in this composition highlight these parallels.

About Live Remote Music

This piece is written to be performed live over the internet, with each singer in their own home singing into their computer. The music is written specifically for the emerging medium of live remote music, so all the musical elements can be slightly out of sync with each other due to variable internet lag while still working together. Many elements of the composition are open to interpretation by the individual performers, all within a framework controlled live by the conductor over video. For more information on the variety of live remote music possibilities, see

Performed by Aliro Voices, directed by Kurt Hattenberger, with Mandy Fassett, violin 


preview score

5:06 - I. People Were Hungry
10:21 - II. Of All the Outrageous Things
15:45 - III. When the Arts No Longer Have a Patron
21:04 - IV. Interlude I
23:08- V. We Are Coming to the Day
27:34 - VI. Every Night
31:25 - VII. Interlude II
35:53 - VIII. When It Is All Over
40:26 - Q+A

Relief (score and parts) - Free

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Digital scores (PDFs) will be licensed to your ensemble for performance, including a sync license to share video and audio publicly. Only one performance license is needed per ensemble, and is valid for that ensemble in perpetuity. Licenses are nontransferable.

Due to the uncertainty in funding and budgets caused by COVID-19 and the experimental nature of this format, I am making this piece available for free. 

Email me at if you have any questions about performing live remote music, or if you have any other thoughts and comments!

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