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He says, “Oh, Mother, I am so sad to see you here. I didn’t know. What happened to you?” She says, “I died of waiting. Year after year, I stood the days out, squinting across the water that never showed your sail. One day my hollow heart cracked to powder like an old egg and I fell where I stood, eyes still clinging to the empty horizon.” Bitter with longing Odysseus reaches out to his mother. Three times he tries and three times he fails. She is as untouchable as smoke. He says, “Oh, Mother, why can’t I hold you in my arms? Is this some fresh cruelty the gods devised to trick me?” She says, “It is only death, my son. It is the end we all come to. You and I had our last embrace long ago, in the sunlit world above. Such things can never happen here. Go back, my child. You will be here soon enough, and that is a return I shall not rejoice to see you make.”


from Penelope, released October 26, 2010
Sarah Kirkland Snider, composer; Ellen McLaughlin, lyrics; Shara Worden, vocals; Brad Lubman, conductor; Signal, orchestra; Michael Hammond, sound design



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Sarah Kirkland Snider Brooklyn, New York

Deemed "one of the decade's more gifted, up-and-coming modern classical composers" (Pitchfork), composer Sarah Kirkland Snider writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative that has been hailed as "rapturous" (The New York Times), "haunting" (The Los Angeles Times), and "strikingly beautiful" (Time Out New York). ... more

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