Infinite Mind


for Solo Marimba and Audio


Decoding the composition
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Infinite Mind

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Project Details

Infinite Mind

for Solo Marimba and Audio

Infinite Mind (2023) - for marimba and audio

Duration 12:25

Part 1:Terminal (5:10)

Part 2: Noam(7:15)

Commissioned by, and dedicated to, Justin DeHart

Made possible with funding fromCreative New Zealand

The recorded voice in Infinite Mind is that of Noam Chomsky, taken from an interview in 2023 when he was 94 years old. It is a chilling interview covering many imminent threats to human civilization, with a deep focus on the underlying need for recognizing the truth of our situation. But it is also moving and inspiring, as toward the end the interviewer manages to draw him out a little and have him talk (somewhat reluctantly) about his personal life.

In the first part, Terminal, we hear about one of the two most most dire threats facing us now; nuclear war.

In the second part, Noam, we alternate between descriptions of one of the most dangerous people currently alive, and Chomsky reminiscing about some of the most miraculous moments in his own life. The space between these two polarities, a kind of yin and yang of our potential as human beings, is the space where most of us exist.

Chomsky’s voice is suspended over an eloquent and often energized solo marimba, both woven around, and within, an enhancing audio track.

Part 1

The Doomsday clock was set in 1947,

shortly after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At that point it was seven minutes to midnight.

A couple of years later in 1952 (it) moved to two minutes to midnight,

when the United States and Russia exploded thermonuclear weapons

showing that human intelligence had advanced (if that’s the right word)

to the point where it could destroy everything.

Later the analysts abandoned minutes altogether and moved to seconds.

It’s now set at ninety seconds to midnight.

It’s set in January, I presume it’ll move still forward to midnight.

We’re now facing questions that have never arisen in human history.

They will have to be answered soon or else we’re essentially finished.

One, of course, is the threat of nuclear war, which is growing both in Europe and in Asia.

The other is the inexorable march toward climate destruction.

We have a couple of decades in which to deal with it.

Methods are pretty well known.

If we don’t pursue them we will pass irreversible tipping points,

And there’ll be a steady decline to undescribable catastrophe.

That’s where we stand now.

The morally correct stance is to prevent it from happening.

It should be understood that a war between nuclear powers is inconceivable.

It means termination.

If a country (major nuclear power) carries out a first strike,

it itself is likely to be destroyed.

Even if there’s no retaliation.

These are not conceivable possibilities.

But top strategists are talking about them

And planning for them.

This is beyond insanity.

The first thing we do is try to be clear about the facts.

I would like to describe the world situation as it is.

I would suggest distinguishing between Western propaganda and the facts.

Dan (Daniel Ellsberg) tried very hard to try to bring the world to understand

the hideous threats of terminal nuclear war that are right on the verge.

And if you look over the history of the nuclear system

it’s kind of a miracle that we’ve survived.

Living with case after case which came very close, very close, much too close,

To moving on to terminal destruction.

Part 2

If he runs again it’ll be a disaster for the world for many reasons.

For one thing, as you saw during his first time, he has two commitments.

One commitment is to himself. He’s a megalomaniac, a psychopath.

All that concerns him is “me”.

The other commitment is to serve corporate power and great wealth.


Some moments are almost miraculous.

Like the birth of my first child.

There are many others like it.

But I don’t see much point in talking about my personal life and situation.

There are more important things in the world.

But he is a major climate denialist.

He denies that global warming is taking place.

He wants to maximise the use of fossil fuels, including the most dangerous of them.

And to eliminate regulations which might mitigate the catastrophe.

That’s a death sentence for the human species.

Domestically, he’s made it very clear he wants to institute a proto-fascist state.

Eliminate the civil service, replace it by loyalists.

That undercuts what remains of functioning democracy.

It would a colossal disaster. And it’s not unlikely.

How is this miracle possible?

With a finite number of symbols to produce an infinite number of thoughts,

and even use these symbols to allow others access to the inner workings of our minds?

How is it possible?

There definitely is an attack on freedom of speech.

Even freedom to read.

Imposed regulations, laws which make it illegal to teach authentic history.

You have to teach a kind of history which glorifies.

Nothing about what actually happened.

Libraries are being forced to throw out books.

There’s laws passed to say there are topics you’re not allowed to talk about.

This is invented as a way to destroy teaching history, teaching gender issues.

Does anybody know?

Q. If you could write your own heading on your own tombstone,

“Here lies Noam Chomsky, he…”

What would you like the rest of that sentence to say?

A. He tried his best

Thank you very much

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