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A Young Composer's Musical Mirror to Iraq War Veteran's Haunting Novel

Curtis graduate student Alyssa Weinberg read and re-read this year’s One Book, One Philadelphia choice as she composed Prayer, her work inspired by The Yellow Birds. With war as its setting, the novel by Kevin Powers makes a zigzag journey in time and place between Iraq, Fort Dix, a base in Germany, and Virginia - the place a young Private Bartle leaves, and returns to, profoundly changed.

Weinberg's composition stays close to the heartbreaking core of this lonely story. It creates a musical mirror of the book’s style, and conveys her own prayer for bridging cultural divides.

PrayerRecordingSession1.mp3
"Prayer," a work for cello composed by Alyssa Weinberg; perfformed by Timotheos Petrin; commissioned by the One Book, One Philadelphia program.

Prayer021714MDLF.mp3
Excerpts of an interview with Curtis graduate student Alyssa Weinberg, followed by comments from cellist Timotheos Petrin.