Composer Gity Razaz' Piece: Legend of Sigh
Cellist Inbal Segev commissioned the work and performs it in this new music video
A multimedia, immersive piece for cello and electronics, Legend of Sigh was written for cellist Inbal Segev by American composer Gity Razaz in 2015.
It retells an Azerbaijani, or Turkic language, folktale in which women travel through numerous lives, and explores themes of birth, transformation, and death.
“We all wish we were 'someone else' sometimes and I also wonder what if I wasn’t a cellist but had a different life," Segev told The Violin Channel. "The protagonist in this magical work by Gity Razaz goes through four transformations as she sighs, only to come full circle at the end. The mix of electronics with my 350 year old Rugieri is so fantastic and adds to the mystical feel of this work."
In the program notes, the piece retells the story of a mysterious being, "Sigh," who appears every time someone lets out a sigh, unknowingly calling out to him.
"In Razaz’s version, the main character is a widow, who despite her wealth and social status, lives in isolation and loneliness," the program notes read. "Overwhelmed with discontent and a desire to end her life, she unknowingly calls upon Sigh.
"With his help, she is transformed into the body of another woman, receiving another chance at life only to become disillusioned again. Throughout the story, the widow travels through numerous lives, learning more about the human spirit each time through her experiences."
"The story behind Legend of Sigh has always fascinated me, as it explores such dramatic encounters with unhappiness and seemingly insurmountable challenges," Razaz told The Violin Channel. "The mystical figure, Sigh, is a beacon of hope, saving people from themselves, helping them choose a life they want over death. The complex and propulsive ebb and flow of the story is perfectly reflected in Inbal’s dynamic and expressive performance."
Inbal Segev's recording of the piece is included on Gity Razaz's debut album The Strange Highway, released this year on BIS Records. The work is currently submitted for Grammy consideration in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category.
Workshopped in May 2015 as part of VisionIntoArt’s second annual FERUS Festival at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, the piece was premiered in February 2016 at National Sawdust as part of Razaz’ composer-in-residency.