Instrumentation: Amp. trumpet and stereo electronics; Amp. cello and stereo electronics; Amp. flute and stereo electronics; or Amp. soprano sax and stereo electronics
Commissions: Ivano Ascari (Trumpet); Madeleine Shapiro (Cello); Susan Fancher (Soprano Sax); Lindsey Goodman (Flute)
Ivano Ascari, Mondi Sonori, XV Edizione Trento
Conservatorio Bonporti Trento, Trento, Italy
Madeleine Shapiro, Cellotronics
Elebash Hall, New York, NY
Susan Fancher, NASA (North American Saxophone Conference)
Lindsey Goodman, Pearl Arts Studio
For the Fallen, originally scored for trumpet and electronics, was commissioned by Ivano Ascari, to whom it is dedicated. After discussing the project with him, I decided to take my inspiration from, and create the electronics from, recordings of the Capana del Cauditi (Bell for the Fallen) in Rovereto, Italy, his home town. Sometimes called Maria Dolens, the bell was originally cast from cannons melted after World War I and is one of the largest ringing bells in the world. Built between 1918 and 1925 to commemorate the fallen in all wars, it is rung daily in their memory. The bell has been recast twice, and is now located on Colle di Miravalle, overlooking the city of Rovereto. While the political situation changes in its particulars, the topic remains all too timely, and I composed For the Fallen while thinking both of those who fell in World War I, and the thousands upon thousands who have fallen in war since then.
The trumpet part sometimes blends with the bell sounds, ringing for the fallen, at other times it rises in mourning, to wild keening, before closing with a sense of resignation. The original bell recordings were kindly provided by engineer Marco Olivotto. In performance, the sound of the trumpet,or other instrument, should blend with that of the electronics. Ivano Ascari gave the premiere at the Mondi Sonori Festival in Trento, Italy, hosted by the Conservatorio Bonporti Trento.
For the Fallen, in the version for amplified cello and electronic playback, was commissioned by cellist Madeleine Shapiro. Another version, for soprano saxophone and electronics, was commissioned by Susan Fancher, and been recorded by Drew Whiting. The fourth version, for amplified flute and electronics, was composed for Lindsey Goodman, who premiered and Returning to Heights Unseen. For more information, visit www.judithshatin.com. –JS
[Recording by saxophonist Drew Whiting] One of my favorite pieces is For the Fallen by Judith Shatin, originally written for trumpet and electronics. The electronics are created from recordings of the Capana del Cauditi (“the bell for the fallen”) in Rovereto, Italy. The bells were fashioned from cannons melted after World War I to memorialize those who were killed, and that somber and very moving inspiration served as Shatin’s musical foundation. The piece is largely one of resigned acceptance, but with painfuloutbursts providing contrast. I came back to this music a few times and always found it very moving. –Henry Fogel, Fanfare 43:6 (July/August 2020)