Mirroring the Other: Reflecting Jewish Experience in Medieval Germany

Who is the Other? What parts of ourselves come from the Other? What does it mean to live life labeled as Other? Who gets the power to apply these labels? Jews have been embodying these questions for as long as there have been Jews. Even through changing times and worlds, these questions remain just as relevant now as a thousand years ago.

Mirroring the Other is all about relationships—between Ashkenazi (German & Eastern European) Jewish cultures and the dominant cultures they lived within, between rich and poor, between men and women, between Middle High German, Medieval Yiddish, and Biblical Hebrew, between past and present.

Alkemie looks at this experience through newly-composed musical settings of Jewish texts and transcriptions of extant chant, monophonic (one voice) & polyphonic (multiple-voice) works. Stories are drawn from Yiddish epic tales and the Codex Manesse, as well as secular songs, religious poems, liturgical texts, and contemporary chronicles. Delight in the antics of an early Purimshpil and the onomatopoeic sounds of medieval life as well as the sheer beauty of the earliest Jewish chants that survive in Western notation.

The concert will be broadcast online with a live Q & A on Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 3 p.m. EST.

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