Stephen Horenstein
Music, Arts and Society


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We are at the cusp of a nation, where our very social and political fabric is in danger, where our cries for leadership have yet to be answered. An array of politicians lay before us, but none, or few, are true leaders who are capable of dispensing from revealing their awesome egos. We seek the selfless and the legendary who can assume responsibility for our epic project, a home for the Jewish people and all others who, for one reason or another, share this land/ their land. Their people have struggled too, from one false start to another; their cries have also gone unanswered in this bizarre political arena. Furthermore, the world around us is equally void of leadership, where we know the greatest and the best nations through egocentric leaders who, in the name of healthy economy, have promised only havoc and lies. We are none the better from their presence. Humanism must carry the day, where instead, the battle of the egos prevails.

We claim we are a democracy and yet not all have equal say. I shudder to think of what lies ahead of us. We are at the vortex of a black hole, where democracy will become autocracy, where leaders will ask us to pledge allegiance to them and not to the common good and the country. We are at the vortex,  a deep unknown from which there is no return. History books will write about this time, unless they are banned from printing or reading. If there were a time capsule sent into space, then it too would be swallowed up into the deep void of senseless egos. Yesterday I had hope, but today I see only the black, black void from which there is no turning back.

Sonombule, music for large sonic environment, composed by the author.

About the Author
Stephen Horenstein is a composer, researcher and educator. His repertoire of musical works has been performed and recorded worldwide. He has been a recipient of the Israel Prime Minister's Prize for Composers and the National Endowment of the Arts (USA). His teaching has included Bennington College, Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance; residencies at Stanford University, York University, California Institute of the Arts, and others. He is Founder and Director of the Jerusalem Institute of Contemporary Music, established in 1988 to bring the music of our time to a wider audience.
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