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Photos: Renowned Holy Cross Composer Holds World Premiere of “Falling Out of Time” on Campus

Grammy Award winners Osvaldo Golijov and Silkroad Ensemble teamed up to showcase the long-anticipated song cycle
November 6th, 2019 by 

A full Brooks Concert Hall
Brooks Concert Hall during the performance of "Falling Out of Time." Photo by Michael Quiet

A woman plays the violin
Silkroad Ensemble artist Mazz Swift performs during "Falling Out of Time." Photo by Michael Quiet

A man plays a trumpet-like instrument
Silkroad Ensemble artist Wu Tong performs during "Falling Out of Time." Photo by Michael Quiet

A woman plays a string instrument
Silkroad Ensemble artist Wu Man plays the pipa during "Falling Out of Time." Photo by Michael Quiet

A group of people sit on stage
Osvaldo Golijov and artists from Silkroad Ensemble answer questions after the performance. Photo by Michael Quiet

Musicians plan their instruments in a large, open space
Osvaldo Golijov and artists from Silkroad Ensemble practice in the Thomas P. Joyce '59 Contemplative Center. Photo by Avanell Brock

A man writes notes on a sheet of music
Osvaldo Golijov writes down notes during practice at the Joyce Contemplative Center. Photo by Avanell Brock

A few years ago, Osvaldo Golijov, Loyola Professor of Music in the music department, read David Grossman’s novel about the grief of losing a child, “Falling Out of Time.” Golijov was moved. So moved, in fact, that he was driven to compose a song cycle inspired by the book, which was originally written in Hebrew and described as half-folktale and half novel-in verse. And after much anticipation, “Falling Out of Time” had its world premiere in front of a packed crowd in Brooks Concert Hall on October 31.

From the get-go, Golijov knew who he wanted to perform the intricate piece: artists from Silkroad Ensemble, who are in their third year as artists-in-residence at College of the Holy Cross. Golijov and the artists worked together throughout the writing process, starting with work-in-progress readings and culminating in an intensive four-day workshop at the Thomas P. Joyce ’59 Contemplative Center just before the musical debut.

The premiere drew students, faculty, staff, alumni and distinguished guests together for a night that included a diverse array of instruments, including voices, pipa, sheng, kemanche, electronics and trumpet. The music’s inspiration may have been a book about grief, but the interpretation was full of life and possibility.

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