Salt tears

Dec 03, 2020, 04:36 PM
Cannaregio boat and street works in Venice reimagined by Moana McReynolds.

"I was inspired to research the neighborhood of my sample and was interested to learn that this was the site of the world’s first Jewish Ghetto. From this starting point I was led to the story of “Sarra Copia Sulam (d. 1641) , renowned for having written a Manifesto in which she upholds the principle of the immortality of the soul as applicable both to Christians and to Jews. With this work Copia enters the annals of one of the most heated controversies of her age and secures a unique place for herself within Italian literature.”

"Learning about her life, courage and struggles led me to her writings. I found a sonnet that reads as a prayer to god to silence the tongues of those who are causing her anguish by their malice and false words. I was inspired to loop the water and construction noises from your sample into a steady rhythm along with drum in 3/4 time. 

"The water and construction sounds could symbolize the water of time and the hard work that women have had to do to gain and retain their voices throughout history. In the age of social media and fake news I found her sonnet especially relevant.

"These are the lyrics I sang and recorded. 

By Sara Copia Sullam

O LORD, Thou know’st my inmost hope and thought,
Thou know’st whene’er before Thy judgment throne
I shed salt tears, and uttered many a moan.
’Twas not for vanities that I besought.
O turn on me Thy look with mercy fraught,
And see how envious malice makes me groan!
The pall upon my heart by error thrown,
Remove; illume me with Thy radiant thought.
At truth let not the wicked scorner mock,
O Thou, that breath’dst in me a spark divine.      
The lying tongue’s deceit with silence blight,  
Protect me from its venom, Thou, my Rock, 
And show the spiteful sland’rer by this sign
That Thou dost shield me with Thy endless might."