La Condition Ouvrière

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Written for the 2024 Ox and Lamb SMALL BATCH MUSIC PROJECT, check out this new multi percussion solo from Arnold Marinessen!

La Condition Ouvrière, written in July/August 2022, relates to the experiences and writings of the French philosopher and socio-political activist Simone Weil, who involved herself deeply with the circumstances of the factory worker in the 1930s. Embedded within the piece are sounds and rhythms of actual factory operations. Also the ‘instruments’ are derived from work in the factory, the workshop, and at the conveyor belt: a saw, steel rulers, threaded rod, reibestock or file, hammer, thimbles, bottles or jars, sandpaper, grinding stones, metal tubes and plate, wooden and cardboard boxes.

As factory work does, the piece requires stamina, abandon, and precision. It balances at the divide between humanness in performance, and automation. And despite, or perhaps precisely through its background in manual labour, the piece is relentless, energetic, nuanced – and playful.

La Condition Ouvrière is dedicated to Dirk Rothbrust, percussionist from Cologne, Germany, whose musicality, inventiveness and dedication inspired me in our collaborations throughout the years, and have impacted on the work.

–Arnold Marinissen


For each piece you choose from the Small Batch Music Project, you get the solo delivered straight to your inbox as a PDF. Parameters for each composer were that the solo should be between 5’00” – 8’00” minutes in length and written at an “intermediate difficulty level” (Advanced High School – Early University)

These solos will ONLY be available through the 2024 Ox and Lamb SMALL BATCH MUSIC PROJECT, and will ONLY be available from January 2024 – December 31, 2024. After 2024, the solos will be gone. 

Spread the word and grab your copy of the SMALL BATCH solos!



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