Premiered by Anmol Gupta, Yonah Barany, and Luis Gonzalez
2 voices (or any treble instrument)
Electric guitar w/ chorus pedal
This piece was written on November 10, 2016, following a calamity too many are familiar with, a period of visceral pain. Many are normalized to the mainstreaming of white supremacist violence and new found endorsement of fascism among the U.S. government with the election of Donald Trump, but we are quick to forget these moments of immediate transition. I recall telling a therapist it was like a death sentence.
The collective trauma faced mainly among the LGBT+ community, PoC, and survivors continues to unwind today. In one way we all understood that this monstrosity of human nature is a founding pillar of our society, built on the desecration of stolen land. But for me, and I think many others, that election forced us to grapple with that truth head on.
Abrahamic religions rely on stories to explain the spiritual behavior of humanity. It is with that context I wrote Prayer for the Fire Worshiper, a death aria as part of a larger operatic project between two lovers. I wanted to express a metaphysical grounding for this ever-present wound inherited from birth that was so passionately made raw last November.
Just as we feel the pain of our ancestors, so too do we feel the desolation. They are two parts of us that exist simultaneously. We feel our own deaths inherited from our ancestors, and our eternal mourning as well.