• Bryce Dessner
  • Aheym (Homeward) (2009)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Kronos Quartet for the Celebrate Brooklyn Festival. Premiere 12th March 2009 at the MusicNOW Festival and 18th July 2009 in Prospect Park, Brooklyn

  • String Quartet
  • 10 min

Programme Note

Aheym means ‘homeward’ in Yiddish, and this piece is written as musical evocation of the idea of flight and passage. As little boys, my brother and I used to spend hours with my grandmother, asking her about the details of how she came to America. (My father’s family were Jewish immigrants from Poland and Russia). She could only give us a smattering of details, but they all found their way into our collective imagination, eventually becoming a part of our own cultural identity and connection to the past. In her poem “Di rayze aheym,” the American-Yiddish poet Irena Klepfisz, a professor at Barnard in New York and one of the few child survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto, writes: “Among strangers is her home. Here right here she must live. Her memories will become monuments."

Aheym is dedicated to my grandmother, Sarah Dessner.

(c) Bryce Dessner

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