Holley Hall, Sarasota, FL
Julie Landsman commissioned me to write a solo horn work for her that would be like a heartfelt Judaic prayer. The compositional process took me back to my own roots and love of the music of the synagogue. This piece was inspired by Julie’s Haftorah portion that she sang at her Bat Mitzvah when she was thirteen. Fragments of the melodies or tropes can be heard throughout the work, as well as melodic embellishments from traditional cantorial singing, where the horn simulates the singing voice. References to the sound of the shofar, or ram’s horn, played on the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, can also be heard. Repeated staccato blasts in the center of the work symbolize both jubilation and pain. The ending of the piece is a love song from the adult to the younger self where the horn plays in different registers as the two parts of the self sing to one another. The title, Ha-Galal is Hebrew for Wheel, and references the wheel or cycle of life.