Instrumentation: Soprano, clarinet and cello
Year composed: 2019
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.
poem by Jamie Klenetsky Fay
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,
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.