Instrumentation: String Orchestra, 2perc, drum-kit, elec guitar, elec bass, electronics (laptop), soprano solo
Duration: 14 movements for a total of 60 min; individual movement ranges around 1-6 minutes
Inspired by Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey, Penelope is a meditation on memory, identity, and what it means to come home. The song cycle, written in 2009 for Shara Worden and Ensemble Signal, is based on a music-theater monodrama written by Snider and playwright Ellen McLaughlin for the J. Paul Getty Center in 2008. In the work, a woman’s husband appears at her door after an absence of twenty years, suffering from brain damage. A veteran of an unnamed war, he doesn’t know who he is and she doesn’t know who he’s become. While they wait together for his return to himself, she reads to him from the Odyssey, and in the journey of that book, she finds a way into her former husband’s memory and the terror and trauma of war.
Read more on Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Website