"My Heart with Jakarta in the Rising Seas," Martin Max Schreiner
My Heart with Jakarta Sinks in the Rising Seas was composed as an expression of deep concern for our planet and its people in the midst of the global warming impacts unfolding before our eyes. One local example of the devastating and rapidly unfolding impact of global warming is Indonesia and its capital Jakarta. So sevre are the city’s infrastructure and health problems and so quickly is Jakarta sinking below sea level, the Indonesian government is in the process of moving its capital from the island of Java to the island of Bomeo in a yet-to-be built city named Kalimantan. Jakarta has recently been identified as the fastest sinking city in the world due to the disastrous combination of depleting ground water from the aquifer beneath the city and global sea levels rising due to global warming. With the growing urgent problem of supplying enough potable water to the city, the aquifer beneath the city is being overused and causing land in the northern area of Jakarta to sink below sea level. With the world’s rising sea levels compounding the problem and no coordinated effort to address solutions for these problems, parts of the city could be completely submerged by 2050. It is with this image in mind of Jakarta sinking that I composed this music. The vibraphone has instrumental cousins in the metal xylophones of the Javanese gamelan orchestra and I take advantage of this in suggesting gamelan-like music at moments in the composition. The vibraphone’s fan vibrato is used sparingly for strategic moments to suggest a feeling of watery emersion. The overall tessitura of the piece descends from its beginning through a climactic cadence on a closely packed aggregate of pitches suggesting an F minor/major ninth chord (F,G,Ab,C) on the lowest bars of the vibraphone. After this doleful sunken cadence, a coda softly rises from the depths of this cadential chord to convey a sense of hope.