COMING SOON - Odemharishoyn vekt zikh fun tardeymo... for Soprano, Cello, and Piano

Title: Odemharishoyn vekt zikh fun tardeymo...
Instrumentation: Soprano, Cello, Piano
Music by: AGP Bach
Text by: Shlomo-Shleimah Jack Enkin Lewis
Expected completion: Autumn 2023

UPCOMING PROJECT - Odemharishoyn vekt zikh fun tardeymo... is a setting of a Yiddish text by Montreal-based Trans, Jewish poet Shlomo-Shleimah Jack Enkin Lewis. I first met Shlomo in the Autumn of 2022 and was instantly impressed by their vivid, soulful expressions of the inner experience of trans identity and their penchant for Jewish spiritual and cultural themes. Faced with the opportunity to write a piece for accompanied voice, I was immediately enthusiastic to create a setting of one of Shlomo's works. Their poem Odemharishoyn vekt zikh fun tardeymo... explores themes of gender identity through the spiritual lens of an interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve from the 5th century Midrash Vayikrah Rabbah, which quotes Talmudic Rabbis Shmuel Bar Nachman and Shimon ben Lakish as saying that Adam was created as an androgynous being, in "dual faces" which were cut, making two (Adam and Eve). The poem, which refers to Adam in the feminine, recounts her awakening from the eternal slumber, and follows her as she realises that she has had her womb torn from her. In her distress, she eats the fruit of knowledge and sees visions of future generations who are not separated by gender and sex (Hebrew "min"). She finds peace in this knowledge that her sacrifice will enable a brighter future for her descendants and leaves the Garden of Eden to build a better world. The poem ends with a defiant cry of prayer to the heavens, asking God to "create a remedy, soon,/ for me, who was born missing his womb."

My adaptation of Odemharishoyn... consists of 6 movements, and is my first major project after several years' hiatus. The piece contains material of my own creation with musical and narrative significance within the context of the work, as well as adapting external materials such as traditional Ashkenazi cantillation into workable materials for this context. In the various movements I experiment with time flow, ranging from strict metrical time to absolute time to free, relationally-defined timeflow. I have also experimented with new sounds and textures, adding new sonic structures to my repertoire. This piece has been a pleasure to write and is certainly my proudest achievement to date.

Upcoming Performance: Schulich Singers with guest conductor Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt

"In Our Voices": Works by Corigliano, Price, Henderson, et al.
April 5th 2023 at 17:00 in Pollack Hall, 555 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Live broadcast on the Schulich YouTube channel.
Tickets can be bought at the box office or online.

Join the Schulich Singers choir of McGill University this April 5th as we perform a special programme of works by North American composers under the direction of Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt, director of Choral Studies at the University of Toronto. Including works by several living composers and featuring a range of soloists from the choir, the programme offers much in the way of entertainment and musical value. Come see me sing!

Upcoming Performance: AGP Bach Piano Recital

Programme of Ravel, Messiaen, and Haydn
April 21st, 2023, 11:30, C201 Schulich School of Music

Come see me play in my practical exam this April 23rd! Haydn Sonata in E minor followed by extracts from the Tombeau de Couperin and Vingt regards sur l'enfant Jesus, and maybe a quick coffee afterwards :)