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Farzia Fallah

Farzia Fallah is an Iranian composer. Since 2007, she lives and works in Cologne. Currently, she is an artist-in-residence at the Deutsches Studienzentrum Venedig in Venice, Italy.

The Expanded Moment of Being

The choral piece Miserere by the Italian composer Gregorio Allegri (1582, Rome–1652, Rome) is assumed to have been written in the 1630s and was regularly performed in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It is a work for nine voices, divided between two choirs. The piece consists of six sections, which are basically repetitions, in each of which a different line of Psalm 51 is sung. Today, when I listen to this piece outside any religious context, I feel as if the piece could go on and on. Listening to it, there is no difference for me, for instance, between minute three and minute eight. I am in a state of supreme concentration during these 12 minutes or so, with no sense of now or later or before. The piece creates its own time, and in these repetitions, one loses the sense of time. It has the effect of a piercing Now.   


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2023

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