Monday Crack – “Karito” an Audio Sculpture by David Barratt

Come together.I’ve been hearing about this project from my friend David Barratt for probably more than two years now.  I have to say it’s ingenious and I can’t wait to experience it first hand.  David, a songwriter/composer with gold and platinum albums to his credit, and a recognized world artist, was asked to install his audio sculpture, “Karito,” in the visitors lobby of the United Nations, and the day of his opening after years of anticipation, and many hours of creation, recording and hard work is just around the corner.  David’s installation will be up and open to the public from October 15th through November 19th and we should all try to experience it if we have the opportunity to do so.

“Karito,” the Esperanto word meaning “love of one’s neighbor,” was created from the national anthems of the 192 member states of the United Nations.  David recorded 1500 different pieces of music to put this sculpture together.  What he did was to record all of the anthems in the same key using the exact same instruments for each one; a violin, viola, cello, bass, brass, and a plucked instrument.  The themes were then mixed and individual music files were created and put onto several MP3 players.  He then placed the MP3 players around a room, and put them on random shuffle.

What David has created in the process is a unique experience for the participant.  “Karito” is designed so that when one walks through the space of the installation each step that you take you will hear different parts of a whole, meaning different parts of all the United Nations countries anthems blended together.  Your position and where you walk, will determine what you hear.  As a result each visitor will experience it differently.  With some instruments in the forefront or possibly the background, it will be impossible to determine whether you are hearing the beginning, middle, or end of an anthem, because mixed together they become a musical country of their own, without borders, beginnings or endings.  And since it is random and you cannot predict what you will hear next, you just have to move one foot in front of the other and enjoy the discovery.

Accompanying the audio are large panels that double for walls and written on these panels are the lyrics from the various nations anthems, again in a random order.  It is suppose to create a flow, a continuity that has no beginning or end, much like a circle.

This has been a very ambitious project, years in the making.  It is innovative, of beautiful sentiment, and exceptionally timely and I for one can’t wait to go.  During these uncertain troubling times I am happy to have an opportunity present itself where I get to reflect upon the possibility of peace, coming together, and the creation of a greater whole.

The United Nations Headquarters
First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY

To learn more about “Karito,” I have included a link to the website below.  I have also included a link to David’s personal website where you will find much interesting artwork and music.  Just cut and paste the link into your browser to access it.

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  1. mankso October 14, 2008 at 10:22 am #

    >“Karito,” the Esperanto word meaning “love of one’s neighbor,” was created from the national anthems of the 192 member states of the United Nations.

    The word is a variant of the more usual Esperanto word ‘kari(ta)to’ and can be found in this shorter form in the all-Esperanto dictionary ‘Plena Vortaro de Esperanto’. It is an obvious cognate with the Latin ‘caritas’, as found in the first line of the well-known verse:

    Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
    Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
    Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur.
    Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
    Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

    The seven points of Esperanto’s Prague Manifesto:
    expand on the theme of ‘karito’ from the point of view of ‘universal bilingualism’
    [YOUR ethnic language + non-ethnic Esperanto for all].

  2. admin October 14, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    Thank you so much for your input!
    I’m certain my readers will appreciate it.
    Best regards,

  3. zednotzee October 17, 2008 at 7:18 am #

    You can see photos and a short film of Karito at

  4. admin October 17, 2008 at 8:22 am #

    I encourage you all to check it out.
    I can’t wait to see the show!!

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