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Sounds: Jason Barabba: Lettere da Triggiano

Composer Jason Barabba just posted a video of the premiere of his huge piece Lettere da Triggiano, and it’s great. What’s Next? Ensemble, joined by actor Kalean Ung and singers Elissa Johnson, Anna Schubert, Amy Fogerson, and Sarah Lynch, put on a semi-staged performance directed by Doug Oliphant.

Of the piece, Jason says,

I inherited a small stack of handwritten letters that grandmother had kept until she died. They were from her sister-in-law, written between 1948 and 1951 and are half of a conversation between my grandmother in Los Angeles and my Great Aunt in Triggiano, Italy. The letters cover a period of time when my grandfather was dying and end about a year after his death. They are very personal and heartfelt missives from a woman who was not able to make the trip to visit her brother as he was dying on the other side of the ocean. I felt there was a good piece in there, so I’ve taken Carmela’s letters and broken them up. They are not presented complete, nor in order. I cannot even begin to know how to summarize the narrative. I never met Carmela, but I feel like I’ve gotten to know her through these letters. I cannot overstate how grateful I am to everyone that had a hand in getting this piece to the stage in October. I am in awe of the performance presented in this recording. I feel like a very lucky composer.

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