Composer Note In 1992 I went to live in Amsterdam for a year. It's so beautiful there and it's an amazing place to live as an artist. Art is a crucial part of Dutch society. It was an incredible relief to live in that atmosphere. I went to lots of concerts, joined the composers' ping-pong team, and wrote Arsenal of Democracy. The piece is written for Orkest de Volharding, a political street band started by Dutch composer Louis Andriessen and others. The group is loud and tough and they're organized in a socialistic framework — everyone has equal say, everyone arrives at consensus decisions. The title of my piece is taken from a phrase coined by Franklin Roosevelt referring to the United States' role as an arsenal before fully entering into WWII. In more recent U.S. history this ''arsenal of democracy'' has reached terrifying and absurd proportions. I imagined that Orkest de Volharding would be a far better arsenal, with trumpets and trombones on the front lines.