death will come and she shall have your eyes (2008)
for string orchestra, voice, field recordings of Roman cantors from 1940-1960
I. Cum Nimis Absurdum
II. Verrà la morte e avrà i tuoi occhi
(text: Cesare Pavese)
(Text: Jorie Graham)
This song-cycle for string orchestra, voice, and archival recordings from the 1950s of cantors from the Tempio Maggiore in Rome (made by the ethnomusicologist Leo Levi, to whom I am indebted) explores the ancient music of the Roman Jewish community in a modern voice, combining biblical texts, modern poetry by Italian and American poets, as well as the notorious 1555 Papal Bull by Paul IV, Cum Nimis Absurdum.
My gratitude to the American Academy in Rome, Walter Brunetto, archivist at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Dr. Kenneth Stow, Professor of Jewish History, Haifa University; Don Harran, Professor in the Department of Musicology at Hebrew University; Marisa Patulli Trythall; and Yaala Levi, daughter of Leo Levi.