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Pesach by Jonathan M. Blair

Pesach by Jonathan M. Blair

Soprano: Magdalene Minnaar Piano: Ben Schoeman Recorded remotely during Lockdown, Covid-19 Pandemic, April 2020 in London, UK and Pretoria, South Africa. The song, ‘Pesach’ refers to the Jewish Passover that is remembered during the months of late March / early April each year. It is a song about fear of the unknown. The background of the piece is concerned with an allusionary repurposing of the exodus story. The entire world, in 2020, is faced with a global plague, like those ancient plagues of Egypt recounted in the exodus; We are all confined inside of our homes just like those ancient Israelites who had to wait for the darkness to ‘passover.’ Of course, secondary themes are applicable as people question the ‘unbending’ regulations placed on us by our respective governing bodies which draws uncanny similarity to the lines about Pharaoh. The timing of the quarantine over the Pesach and the Good Friday/Easter season, with its themes of darkness, death and fear. Of course, themes of hope, salvation and rebirth are also juxtaposed and wonderfully expressed in the cultural consciousness; These are human stories that we can all relate to, and in this spirit the song ‘Pesach’ is composed as a ‘psychological snapshot’ of what many of us felt at the onset of the pandemic. פֶּסַח (text adapted from Exodus and the Gospel Accounts by Jonathan M. Blair) Darkness spreads over these nations And Pharaoh’s heart will not bend. Terror cries out from this people, (Their)Prophets sing songs of the end. Speak to the children of this generation; Instruct them to cloak themselves inside their homes At midnight I will rain death from heavens throne... Unless the blood! Let this cup Passover me; why has thou forsaken me? Let this cup Passover me. Into thy hands I commit my...
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