SATB Choir, String Quartet, Harp, & 1 Percussion
Duration: 11 minutes
Premiere: October 2009, University of Michigan Chamber Choir, Jerry Blackstone, conductor
BLEED is based on a letter written by St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), to Brother Raimondo of Capuo. St. Catherine was a tertiary of the Dominican Order, and a Scholastic philosopher and theologian. She dedicated her life to helping the ill and the poor, and cared for them in hospitals and homes. her letters are exemplary treasures of early Tuscan literature.
In her beautiful, poetic, and sensual letter to Brother Raimondo, St. Catherine describes her role as confessor to a prisoner sentenced to death, and he experience witnessing his execution by beheading. The music of BLEED weaves poetic fragments from the letter into non-narrative sequences and clusters, as though the listener passes through St. Catherine’s dreams and memories of her erotic catharsis as she held the doomed prisoner’s head at the moment of his death.