A film by Jessica Gould
Presented by Salon/Sanctuary Concerts
Made possible by the generous support of NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò.
Babylon: Ghetto, Renaissance, and Modern Oblivion considers the text of Psalm 137 as it has resonated through the music of two ghettoized peoples – Italian Jews of Mantua during the period of the Counter-Reformation, and African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance and beyond.
Narrated by the titanic voiced Ezra Knight, the groundbreaking Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble performs works by Italian-Jewish composer Salamone Rossi (1570 – 1630) and contemporary American Brandon Waddles (1988 –) . Other musical selections include archival recordings by such luminaries as Ma Rainey, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Big Mama Thornton, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, and others, two giants of contemporary West African music, Kevin Nathaniel Hylton and Yacouba Sissoko, and soprano Jessica Gould and lutenist Lucas Harris.