SIRENE: A modern answer to the ancient call
SIRENE, The Esoterics’ fifteenth CD features four new pieces that demonstrate the contemporary choral “call and response.” In Eric Banks’ setting of a poem by Constantine Cavafy, Voices from our previous life call to us from beyond time to remind, guide, and inspire us. In Mason Bates’ multilingual masterpiece, Sirens originate from several sources: the temptress of Homer’s Odyssey, the Rhine-maiden of the German Lorelei, the star-goddess of 16th-century Italian poetry, the Peruvian Sirinu at the festival of Carnival, and Christ’s call to the fisherman brothers who would later become his disciples. Ted Hearne’s Privilege comprises five choral snap-shots into our collective consciousness, and include poignant texts from Bill Moyers’ interview with David Simon (creator of The wire). These vignettes express our culture’s response to the overwhelming number of ways in which we are called: by each other, by our families and our loved ones, by society, and by technology. Also on SIRENE is Hearne’s Ripple for mixed chorus. This provocative work sets a single sentence from the Iraq war logs that describes an incident in which an American soldier opened fire on an unidentified vehicle that was occupied by an unarmed Iraqi family. Not only is Ripple a meditation on “the call of duty,” it also explores how emotions and time seem to drift, develop, and distort as they travel, like a wave, across the human psyche.