About the piece...

\kânün\ (2007)
for a cappella TTBB Choir
Commissioned for Cantus by the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation.

Combining Hebrew, Latin, and Arabic texts from the Torah, Bible, and QUR’AN, \kânün\ is a transliterated setting of Shemot/Exodus 20:13 (“You shall not murder;/Thou shalt not kill.”) combined with an excerpt from Surah 5:32 (“Whosoever killed a man...it would be as if he killed all the people.”) The work's title (pronounced either like the English canon or phonetically as \kah-noon\) translates loosely as “law” or “rule” in all three languages.

The piece is a personal meditation on the seemingly endless repetition of violence in God’s name – not just recently in the Middle East, but across the world for many centuries – and focuses on one of the most important principles shared by these three major world religions.

For answering countless questions about language and pronunciation, special thanks to: Umut Fahrioglu, Lahoucine Machkouri,, Rachel Stock Spilker, and Mark Swanson