As of Me and of Mine | for Baritone, Trombone, Trumpet and Bass Clarinet (2021) 13’

Revised version written for the New Music New Haven concert series. The piece was originally written for loadbang (www.loadbang.com)

 

Jared Swope, Baritone

Lloyd Van't Hoff,

Bass Clarinet Shania Cordoba,

Trumpet Addison Maye-Saxon,

 

Trombone Morse Hall, New Music New Haven, Yale School of Music November 4 , 2021

As of Me and of Mine began in a second-hand book sale in Tel Aviv, where, browsing through dusty boxes, I found a book of "120 Chassidic Melodies". This slim collection, published presumably in 1947, was assembled by Joachim Stutchewsky (1891-1982), a Ukraine-born Israeli cellist, composer, and musicologist, and includes his transcriptions of the Nigunim (melodies) of various eastern European Jewish communities. Later at home, leafing through book, I realized to my surprise that I did not know any of the melodies in the book. And yet, the loose, recitative-like improvisatory melodic contours and dancing rhythms seemed uncannily familiar to me and reminded me of much of the Jewish and Israeli music I know and love. May I claim these unknown-yet-familiar melodies as my own, I wondered? As of Me and of Mine is my response to this question.

"Ever since I was a child these songs have stirred me strangely. They came out of the South unknown to me, one by one, and yet at once I knew them as of me and of mine." -

W.E.B. Du Bois,