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The Caged Griffin

from The Barnum Museum by Barry Schrader

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Leaving The Hall of Mermaids, you pass the exhibit of The Caged Griffin. You are surprised by the size of this beast, which has the head and wings of an eagle, and the body of a lion. Even though the cage is large, it seems much too small for such an imposing creature. The great talon of the griffin’s front right leg grasps one of the bars of the cage, and as you look into the griffin’s emerald eyes, you feel a great sense of melancholy come over you. You sense the griffin’s resignation in having gone from a creature of past great power to present doleful captivity. Suddenly, the griffin’s eyes seem to catch fire. Is it remembering some bygone glory, some ancient valorous quest? Its great wings beat once, twice, and the third time it seems to believe it can actually escape its miserable pen and, once again, rise into the heavens. Alas, the griffin quickly remembers its captive state and, once more, settles into its plight of hopeless imprisonment.


from The Barnum Museum, released July 25, 2012


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Barry Schrader Los Angeles, California

Schrader's compositions for electronics, dance, film, video, mixed media, live/electro-acoustic music combinations, and real- time computer performance have been presented throughout the world. In 2014, he was given the SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a member of the Composition Faculty of the CalArts School of Music from 1971 to 2016. His web site is <barryschrader.com>. ... more

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