Exterminate all the Brutes

for saxophone and fixed media


Exterminate all the Brutes was written for saxophonist Elizabeth Bunt.  The composition is an indirect and personal depiction of Sven Lindqvist’s book of the same title.  The book discusses Europe’s dark history in Africa, Australia, and the Americas.  Lindqvist argues that calculated genocide was at the core of European thought before Hitler came to power. He proposes that the idea of “exterminating all the brutes” (in order to spare them the misery of a prolonged extinction), which is presented in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, permeated elite discourse in various forms for centuries.