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Mary Kouyoumdjian

Silent Cranes

for string quartet, prerecorded backing track, and live processing

(2015)
Duration30'
MovementsI. slave to your voice
II. you did not answer
III. [with blood-soaked feathers]
IV. you flew away
CommissionSilent Cranes was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet with support to date from the David Harrington Research and Development Fund, the Angel Stoyanof Commission Fund, Zvart and Rouben Potoukian, Gates McFadden and Robert Straus, Dayna Sumiyoshi and Greg Smedsrud, and other generous individuals.
PremiereApril 29, 2015; Yerevan Perspectives 16th International Music Festival presents at Armenian National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Yerevan, Armenia; Kronos Quartet
Instrumentation2 violins, viola, cello, and live processing engineer
Technical requirementsSee preview pages for amplification, prerecorded backing track, and live processing details.
PublisherPSNY

Media

Program Note

April 24, 2015 marks the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, a tragic event that led to the mass extermination of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks that was the first genocide of the 20thcentury. While over 20 countries and 42 U.S. States have formally recognized the Armenian Genocide, modern-day Turkey has yet to do so and threatens imprisonment to those who push the topic within its borders. Even now, 100 years later, this historic event continues to be just as unresolved as it was before. As an Armenian-American composer who values freedom of speech and whose family fled the genocide, I feel this is an essential time to remember those who were lost, while continuing a dialogue about what happened and how we can prevent further genocides from happening in the future.

Silent Cranes is inspired by the Armenian folk song Groung (Crane) in which the singer calls out to the migratory bird, begging for word from their homeland, only to have the crane respond with silence and fly away. The first, second, and fourth movement titles quote directly from the folk song lyrics. Those who were lost during the genocide are cranes in their own way, unable to speak of the horrors that happened, and it is the responsibility of the living to give them a voice.

The prerecorded backing track includes testimonies by genocide survivors, recordings from the genocide era of Armenian folk songs, and a poem from investigative journalist David Barsamian in response to the question“Why is it important to talk about the Armenian Genocide 100 years later?”

Projection Design: Laurie Olinder              

Poetry: David Barsamian, excerpts from“A Century….”

Folk Songs:

Groung (Crane) performed by Komitas Vardapet/Armenak Shah Muradian and Andouni (Homeless) performed by Komitas Vardapet in Paris, France, 1912 (courtesy of Traditional Crossroads); Groung (Crane) performed by Zabelle Panosian in Harlem, New York, 1916 (courtesy of Tompkins Square)

Survivor Testimonies:

Araxie Barsamian, Bishop Hagop, Victoria Mellian, (courtesy of David Barsamian); Haig Baronian, Aghavnie Der Sarkissian, Elise Hagopian Taft, Nium Sukkar, (courtesy of the Armenian Film Foundation); Azniv Guiragossian (interviewed by Taleen Babayan and the composer)

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Full score and Solo Part (Digital)

Chamber Ensemble Score (Print)

Piano Reduction and solo parts (Digital)

Choral Score Set - 16 copies (Print)
Includes 8 copies of the soprano/alto part and 8 copies of the tenor/bass part.

Score and part (Digital)

Score and part (Print)

Conductor Score (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Digital)

Parts (Mov. 11 only) (Print)

Full Score (4 needed for performance) (Print)

Choral Score Set - 20 copies (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Digital)

Study Score in Two Volumes (Print)

Piano reduction and solo part (Print)

Video and instructions (Digital)

Piano/Vocal Score (Print)

Score and Parts (Digital)
Score and part PDF files are delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Full Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the full score is delivered via email upon receipt.

Soprano/Alto Part (Print)

Tenor/Bass Part (Print)

Full Score (Print)
A print edition of the score ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Parts (Digital)
A PDF file of the part(s) is delivered via email upon receipt.

Parts (Print)
A print edition of the part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt.

Solo Instrument Score (Digital)
A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Digital)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Score and Parts (Print)
A print edition of the score and part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. The email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer.

Solo Instrument Score (Print)
A print edition of the score is shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Print)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. Print edition(s) of the full score/performance score are shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Multiple copies are included if the work has more than one player. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Choral Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the choral score is delivered via email upon receipt. The set is priced to allow multiple copies of the PDF to be printed for performance by the purchasing organization only.

Choral Score Set- 8 copies (Print)
Minimum order quantity is 8 copies. Single copies are not available.

SATB choral score (Print)

Vocal Score (Digital)

Vocal Score (Print)

Choral Score (Print)

Full Score and Solo Part (Print)
A print edition of the score and solo part ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Print)

Study Score (Print)

Study Score (Digital)

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Digital)

SATB choral score (Digital)