Rock and the Redemption

The Rock and the Redemption is a new suite composed by Noah Baerman as a reinterpretation of the myth of Sisyphus, as performed by the Noah Baerman Resonance Ensemble

Noah Baerman – piano, synthesizer, organ, slide guitar
Kris Allen – alto saxophone, flute
Chris Dingman– vibraphone
Melanie Hsu – cello, vocals
Henry Lugo – acoustic and electric bass
Bill Carbone – drums, tambourine
Claire Randall – vocals
Garth Taylor – vocals
Latanya Farrell – vocals

Sisyphus got overconfident and brash, overstepped his boundaries, and angered the gods, incurring their wrath. In this case the wrath entailed an eternity of pushing a boulder up a mountain . . . well, most of the way up, as it would then fall back to the bottom just before reaching the summit, requiring him to start pushing all over again.

Generally speaking, this is where the story ends, or at least where we lose interest in it, and we simply evoke “Sisyphean” as a term describing endless and repetitive drudgery in service of hopeless pursuits. What happens next, though, is precisely where a new layer of intrigue begins, one that has deep philosophical ramifications.

Frankly, at some point we all endure Sisyphean circumstances and yet are compelled to keep pushing. Loss, disability, trauma, unconditional love for those who suffer – any of these things can compel us to keep pushing even when on paper we face insurmountable odds.

So maybe Sisyphus is a fulfilled man and a role model. He shows us that a daily regimen of pushing strengthens our muscle tone, burnishes our spirit and teaches us that, from a purely statistical standpoint, a “failed” but ambitious pursuit can yield measurably greater results than one centered on that which is attainable. This suite imagines and traces his journey to this enlightenment.