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Home > Resonate: The Greatest Happiness Principle by David Sawer

Resonate: The Greatest Happiness Principle by David Sawer

Resonate: The Greatest Happiness Principle by David Sawer

About the piece

“The Greatest Happiness Principle was inspired by the utopian ideas of the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, and especially by his application of the panoptic principle to prison design. This design allowed an observer to observe all the prisoners without the prisoners themselves being able to tell whether they were being watched. The intention was to create a transparent system of self-regulation through constant surveillance. I wanted the character of the piece to salute this governing idea, however halfway through its composition I recognised my own entrapment. Right at the end of the work the conductor relinquishes control and the orchestra enjoys a moment of abandonment.” – David Sawer

About the composer

David Sawer studied music at the University of York and in Cologne with Mauricio Kagel. Since the 1990s he has had a succession of important commissions and performances from major orchestras in the UK and internationally.  Drama, or a fascination with theatrical possibilities, is present in many of his works.

Championed by BBC Philharmonic

Find the work on the Resonate database here

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