Who is that Stranger

Joelle Wallach

About this work:

Who is that Stranger's six songs are based on the traditional anonymous oral poetry of women from Yemen and the West Bank, translated from the Judeo-Arabic by Mishael Maswari Caspi.  In each song, the singer yearns for home, for Paradise, for deliverance, for the end of her personal exile - an exile even within a community itself in exile.  The imagery is that of the ancient, ageless desert Diaspora. Thirst is the overarching metaphor for longing, and each song is an invocation of the outcast’s craving for an almost imaginary home.

Although several of the songs call on Middle Eastern rhythmic modes, scales and gestures, one, “I am Thirsty,” also appears to be a modern spiritual, invoking another exiled people’s cri du coeur.



Version: also known as Camel Lying on My Heart
Year composed: 2002
Duration: 00:07:00
Ensemble type: Voice, Solo or With Chamber or Jazz Ensemble:Solo Voice with Keyboard
Instrumentation: 1 Piano, 1 Soprano

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