I Heard a Fly Buzz... When I Died: For Voice, Percussion, and Chamber Ensemble

Shai Cohen (Composer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


'I heard a Fly buzz... when I died' is a piece for voice, percussion, and ensemble based on a poem by Emily Dickinson featuring the poet herself after her death, lying on her deathbed.

The separation from life takes place in the room, in the silence of tense silence before the storm. After a long cry, my family members and friends gathered around, their breaths joined together as the king was seen in the room ("God" leading the dying to eternal life or perhaps "death" leading to the failure).

Her will is fulfilled in the form of final provisions and the inheritance of national property - but suddenly - A fly cuts the death scene!

The buzz of an unclear fly bounces off the light and scores of meters of silence in the room are magnified. Is irony a fly that seeks to escape like a soul leaving the body at the critical moment? Or a tragedy, a fly left with the corpse and decay? There is no answer to this because "the windows have ceased", the light went out and could not be seen anymore.

The musical work was written by Shai Cohen as a theatrical-operatic scene that seeks to paint, illuminate and interpret the absurd story that emerges from the poem through musical, acoustic and electronic means, and is dedicated to Einat Orenstein, Oded Geitzhels and the Israel Contemporary Players ensemble.
Original languageAmerican English
Place of PublicationTel-Aviv
PublisherIsrael Music Institute (IMI)
StatePublished - 2019


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