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Evil's Peak for Soprano and Double Bass (2019)
Commissioned by the Departure Duo

 

Evil's Peak is a four-song cycle for soprano and double bass commissioned by the Departure Duo (Nina Guo- soprano and Eddie Kass- double bass). 

 

The piece takes inspiration from a 13th century frieze that graced the walls of the St. Mary's Church in Lübeck, Gemany in 1463 before it was destroyed in WWII; The Dance of Death in which 24 figures symbolizing people from all statuses and ranks of life (from the Pope to the baby) are led into a dance by emaciated corpses draped in a shroud and playing the flute; a pronouncement that death is no respecter of persons and this is the one dance we all must dance.

In this narrative, death is a woman. Unlike the texts in the frieze where there is dialogue between death and the figures in question, death here, pronounces judgement without defense. Primarily, these judgments stem from the composer's personal experiences living in Jamaica in which the figures (specifically those representing the church and the state) have been engaging in various forms of injustice toward humanity and consequently deserving of death. Although death in the beginning seems to be doing good, serving justice to those who have been wronged, it eventually becomes a heart breaking cycle as nature begins to override choice; taking the innocent with it. 

The work is in the language of Jamaican Patois (an audio guide to the phonetics is available on your left) 

MOVEMENTS

I. Det tu hEvribadi (Death to Everybody)

II. Det tu di Chrch (Death to the Church)

III. Det tu di Stiet (Death to the State)

IV. Det tu di Caman an nat so Caman (Death to the Common and not so Common)

Duration: approx. 20 mins. 

 

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