Being all right with one’s wealth
Happiness Index is the title of the four-part work he’s readying for Voices in Motion, Bodies That Sing, and although it doesn’t borrow directly from African music, it’s definitely inspired by the time that Hannan has spent in Lesotho, where his wife, Dr. Karen Stancer, mentors health-care workers dealing with AIDS.
“It’s, like, the poorest country in the world, with every problem that entails,” Hannan explains, in a separate telephone interview. “But the thing that really struck me from being there is that people are no more or less happy or no more or less complaining than anyone I know here.”
Inspired by their resilience, Hannan has composed a suite of four discrete songs. One is based on an unsettling conversation he had in Lesotho, during which he was asked if he “was all right” with the western world’s wealth.