writing

Donald Martin Jenni (1937-2006): A Remembrance

July 28, 2006

Two weeks ago I received a sad email, telling me that the composer Donald Martin Jenni had died, from a long and painful cancer. My first thought was that I was sorry I had not kept in closer contact, my second was that I was surprised to read in his obituary that he had ended up in New Orleans, with a new life and an adopted family. His life had changed so much since I had known him. I had been a masters student of Martin's from 1978 to 1980 at the University of Iowa, and although we had stayed in touch after I left Iowa—we would send each other music and he would come visit whenever he was in New York—the second that he retired he vanished…

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we were (2021) 10'

text by David Lang (after Song of Songs)

SATB

co-commissioned by Flagey, Brussels, for Vox Clamantis, Tallinn, Jaan-Eik Tulve, Director; the Crossing, Philadelphia, Donald Nally, Director; and the Fisher Center at Bard College, New York

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the sense of senses (2021) 8'

text by David Lang (after Song of Songs)

SSAATTBB

co-commissioned by the Company of Music, Vienna, Johannes Hiemetsberger, Director; the Crossing, Philadelphia, Donald Nally, Director; and the Fisher Center at Bard College

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love fail (2012) 60'

Text by David Lang (after Lydia Davis, Marie de France, Gottfried von Strassburg, Béroul, Thomas of Britain and Richard Wagner)

SSAA playing simple percussion instruments

love fail was co-commissioned by The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2012 Next Wave Festival, The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, The John F. Kennedy Center Abe Fortas Memorial Fund, The Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, The Secrest Artists Series at Wake Forest University, and Hancher Performances at the University of Iowa. Movement 4, 'the wood and the vine', was commissioned by The Newman Center for the Performing Arts at University of Denver, The University of California at Riverside, and the Santa Fe Concert Association in Santa FE, NM. Movement 10, 'I live in pain', in a different version, was originally written for “TheCrossing,” Donald Nally, conductor.

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lifespan 15'

3 or more whistlers

lifespan was composed for a limited edition run of live performances, for the american artists Jennifer Allora and Guilliermo Calzadilla.

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