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cheat sheet - Programme Note

"cheat sheet" for solo electric guitar, flute, clarinet, percussion, string trio, double bass, and live electronics was a commission from the Austrian Ensemble for New Music (OENM) and the Bregenz Festival. It has very curious beginnings. On May 3rd 2005, two days before the Blair Labour Government was re-elected, Edwards was reading the BBC News website and stumbled on the following statement by the Labour Minister Gordon Brown regarding the government's decision in 2003 to invade Iraq: "We believed we were making the right decision in the British national economic interest...at the end of the day we wanted the security of Britain and the British national interest to be advanced." Edwards couldn't believe his eyes: that this reason--well-known to all but denied by those responsible--was there to read in the mainstream media two days before the election. It was "too good (or rather too bad) to be true. And so it was. For when I reloaded the page some fifteen minutes later the statement had been removed. Redacted. Edited out. Censored. A search of the BBC website resulted in another story with the same quotation. And again, a few minutes later it was gone from that story too. [...] I was stunned--frightened even--to see what I could only suppose was government control of the media so nakedly at work. Or perhaps the BBC themselves redacted the statement", so writes the composer, who immediately contacted several national newspapers, national and international political organisations, the BBC, even Gordon Brown's office. No response was forthcoming, no open discussion, no explanation, "no trouble". In his work "cheat sheet" Edwards thematicises the idea of censorship.

German version:

"cheat sheet" für Solo E-Gitarre, Flöte, Klarinette, Percussion, Streichtrio, Kontrabass und Live-Elektronik ist ein Auftragswerk des Österreichischen Ensembles für Neue Musik und den Bregenzer Festspielen und hat eine äußerst kuriose Vorgeschichte. Am 3. Mai 2005, zwei Tage, bevor die Blair Labour Regierung wiedergewählt wurde, stolperte Edwards beim Durchsehen der BBC New-Webseite über folgendes Statement des Labour Ministers Gordon Brown, der über die Regierungsentscheidung 2003, in den Irak-Krieg zu ziehen, meinte: "We believed we were making the right decision in the British national economic interest...at the end of the day we wanted the security of Britain and the British national interest to be advanced." Edwards konnte seinen Augen nich trauen, dass dieser allen bekannte--und von allen Verantwortlichen geleugnete--Kriegseintrittsgrund zwei Tage vor der Wahl in den Medien zu lesen sei. Es war "too good (or rather too bad) to be true. And so it was. For when I reloaded the page some fifteen minutes later the statement had been rmoved. Redacted. Edited out. Censored. A search of the BBC website resulted in another story with the asme quotation. And again, a few minutes later it was gone from that story too. [...] I was stunned--frightened even--to see what I could only suppose was government control of the media so nakedly at work. Or perhaps the BBC themselves redacted the statement", so der Komponist, der sofort mehrer Zeitungen, nationale und internationale politische Organisationen, die BBC, sogar Gordon Browns Office kontaktierte. Ein wirkliches Echo kam nicht--keine öffentliche Diskussion, keine Erklärung, "no trouble". In seinem Werk "cheat sheet" thematisiert Edwards nun die Idee der Zensur.