Crossing Borders

Examining the term BORDERS and some of its manifestations in means of music and art is the subject of a new piece initiated by the Israeli Meitar Ensemble in co-production with the celebrated German ensemble Neue Vocalsolisten. Two composers join forces to create the musical world for this piece, another Israeli-German partnership, Ofer Pelz and Sarah Nemtsov. A third party is the Israeli light designer Omer Sheizaf who will be exploring and interpreting the visual world and it’s borders created in our minds while listening to the music.

45th Parallel Line by Ofer Pelz

for 5 voices and 6 instruments for the project “Crossing Borders” with Meitar ensemble, Neue Vocalsolisten, Sarah Nemtsov and Omer Sheisaf.

The piece explores the concept of crossing borders in its politic, historic and gender senses, through music and text. I have chosen three text sources. One of them is a short story of a refugee from Sudan, Yassin Alfseen, telling me how he trespassed the border from Egypt to Israel. He told me the text in Hebrew, Arabic, French, and English and I used a mix of the four languages. The second is a childhood story, written in Polish, of my grandfather, Gadi Tadeusz Carmon, who imagines how he steals a boat from a fisherman in Poland, then rides the boat all the way to Palestine. In the end, he does not succeed in carrying the boat because it is too heavy, and all his detailed plans do not come true. The third text is a short poem (micro-recite), by Iréne Gayraud, which describes the meeting moment, and in a subtle manner, the border crossing between a man and a woman.

The piece is divided into seven sections that are mixed as a collage with Sarah Nemtsov’s sections to create the entire Crossing Borders piece. Each movement is in a kind of perpetual motion, without a clear structure, or border. I have tried to walk on the border of musical elements such as motion and stillness, silence and very quiet sounds, or sound and noise.

Parallel lines created borders between many countries and geographic areas around the world. The 45th Parallel Line is the Parallel North that passes through Montreal, where I live these days.

 The piece was commissioned by Meitar Ensemble with support by the Canada Council for the Arts and Goethe Institut.

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