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for unaccompanied SATB voices (with divisions) by Shruthi Rajasekar

The security announcement ‘See it. Say it. Sorted.’, promoting vigilance among rail passengers, has become an inescapable part of the soundscape of travel in the UK. Embracing both its light-hearted side – as the work of an American composer fresh to the delights of journeying by train – and its more disquieting aspect as a symbol of state surveillance, Sorted delivers the message with flair and minimalist drive. Elements of South Indian Carnatic music, of which the composer is a noted exponent, add to the music’s fascination as a dynamic musical reflection of modern urban life.

If you see something that doesn’t look right,
speak to staff or text British Transport Police
on 61016. We’ll sort it. See it. Say it. Sorted.
Crown Copyright. Used by permission

For some years, the security announcement ‘See it. Say it. Sorted.’ has been an integral part of the soundscape across the whole of the UK rail network. Whatever the delays and detours, or the elasticity of time as journeys stretched out or raced to their conclusions, this message punctuated the experience with unceasing regularity, causing my US American friends and me some amusement as we sampled the delights of train travel. But perhaps because it was ubiquitous, not only could its meaning have been easily overlooked – be vigilant at all times – it could also potentially distract from a more insidious interpretation, namely the legitimising of a surveillance state where governments encourage citizens to be inherently suspicious of their neighbours.



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