The Way It Goes

Composition for Orchestra

In Bertolt Brecht’s play “The Exception and the Rule” an innocent unarmed man is shot and killed by a man with a gun. At the trial the armed man testifies that even though the other had no weapon he felt threatened and afraid. As usual the armed man is found not guilty by reason of self-defense.

At the conclusion of the play the actors address the audience directly, saying (in my paraphrase) -

Find unusual what is not unusual,
Regard it as exceptional, even when it is the rule.
When people say: “that’s the way it goes”,
Recognize injustice.
And where you find injustice
Find a remedy!

My work “The Way It Goes” is a musical trope, retelling that story.