'Symphony of Lies' was a mixed-media live concert event staged in Los Angeles, May 2007. This
piece, composed by Drew Schnurr, was designed for chamber ensemble combined with projected text animation
derived from recorded statements of deceit by past American Presidents [Richard M. Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson,
William J. Clinton]. The melodies and rhythms were extracted from the speech inflection of each lie, and
were used to create music that represented the psychologically ominous impact of lying. The visual score
accompanied the music, projecting the words connected to each note and melody, generating a visual collage
within a minimal asthetic framework.
What is the sound of deceit?
Can deceitfulness be identified by it's tone? Are spoken lies bound
by a signature rhythm recognized only by our subconscious? These questions motivate "Symphony of Lies," a
musical media composition derived from recorded statements of deceit by past American Presidents.
“Symphony of Lies” is a piece designed for chamber ensemble combined with projected moving typography.
Written by composer Drew Schnurr, melodies and rhythms are extracted from the speech inflection of each lie,
and are used to create music that represents the psychologically ominous impact of lying. The melodic
motives in the composition are created by transcribing the pitch and rhythm of selected samples. Note
sequences come from the resonant tones of individual words. Meter is traced by the phrasing of speech. The
resulting composition highlights the effect lying has on the emotional subconscious.
The visual score accompanies the music, projecting the words connected to each note and melody, generating a
visual collage within a minimal aesthetic framework. This interplay
between typography and sound challenges the fundamentals of communication and human perception while
engaging multiple levels of visual motion, music, and digital culture. “Symphony of Lies” extracts the
effect lying has on the personal subconscious while concurrently examining it’s effect on society as a
Lyndon B. Johnson
“My fellow Americans....renewed hostile actions against United States ships on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin have today required me to order the military forces of the United States to take action in reply.”
Richard M. Nixon
“The President has nothing to hide. I have never obstructed justice. I'm not a crook.”
William J. Clinton
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman. These allegations are false.”