Third Generation

Basic Information

Instrumentation: Soprano, clarinet and cello
Duration: 3:30
Year composed: 2019

Description

Semifinalist, Juventas New Music competition

This piece concerns immigration, and empathy for refugees, in the context of 2019. I come from a family of Jewish refugees, and wanted to reflect on that history as it relates to current-day immigration policy. This is a call to other third generation (and beyond) Americans to remember their own histories.

Lyrics

poem by Jamie Klenetsky Fay

I’m comfortable
I’m an American.
I’m white enough, rich enough, to be a part of it.
And I’ve never known struggle
Or the fear of facing certain death
Because of my blood.

I can’t help but be reminded
I’m only three generations away from genocide.

They crossed a wall of ocean
(so I was told at the seder table)
Each of the seven, one by one, from the old country.
The men were escaping a life at the front lines
For that’s how the Jews of Poland were made to die
Before other methods were born.

They slipped through,
created roots.

My family’s still in the city
(where so many immigrants and refugees fled)
And their children and grandchildren are free.

It could have been me.

Score & Recording

MIDI realization of Third Generation