falling out of time
for cello and electronics
falling out of time (2012, revised 2015)
Cello: Russell Rolen
Composer and Electronics: Iddo Aharony
Inspired by Israeli author David Grossman's novel of the same name, falling out of time is designed as a musical dialogue between live cello passages, their electronically processed echoes and shadows, and a recording of a traditional Jewish-Iraqi psalm cantillation.
Grossman's novel explores the experience of grief partly through the metaphor of one's journey away from home, in search of what is no more. The text of the psalm, on the other hand, poetically reflects upon a physical and spiritual sense of exile from one's home and from what is left indefinitely behind: "By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept as we remembered Zion...".
Along the piece's length, the relationship between the cello and the psalm cantillation gradually evolves and transforms, perhaps echoing in some way the tension and imaginary dialogue between the two aforementioned textual perspectives.
The cantillation of Psalm 137 heard in the electronic portion of the piece is performed by Yehuda Petaya, rabbi and cantor of the Jewish-Iraqi Minhat Yehuda synagogue in Jerusalem.
It is used with his kind permission.