'Anomy' is an ongoing effort to cross out every word containing the letter 'e' from a very large dictionary, then translate all of its markings into an immense 11-tone musical composition that omits the note 'e'.

 

The title of the piece comes from a vocabulary list developed while working on the project, which consists of words that are peculiar or characterized the activity at hand. Anomy is defined as a lack of purpose, identity, or ethical values in a person or society. It is a prominent term in Emile Durkheim's 1897 work 'Le Suicide,' which analyzes the social roots of suicide. Durkheim examines suicide as a general expression of the loss of cohesion in different forms of collective order (political, economic, religious, or domestic). Of these, he states, the economic realm is most prone to a constant state of anomy. This is due to the eternal and limitless promise of happiness championed by free market ideology, and the equally eternal and limitless sense of dissatisfaction that can ensue from a pursuit of unattainable goals, or goals without end.