Fallen Warriors (2011)

the Cihuacoatl’s eye

— for fl, cl, cbsn, tpt, tbn, str quintet, and electronics.

duration: 14 min

About the Work

According to Aztec mythology, the fertility and childbirth goddess Cihaucoatl is a fierce skull-faced old woman who carries the shield and spears of a warrior.  She helped Quetzalcoatl create the current race of humanity by grinding up bones from the previous ages, and mixing it with his blood.

In many traditions, childbirth has long been compared to warfare and the women who die in childbirth are honored as fallen warriors. At once chaotic and monstrous, this piece ultimately traces a sense of resilient lament.

<The musical language of this work, however, has nothing to do with Aztec practices>.

— Du Yun

The world premiere of Du Yun’s Fallen Warriors, the Cihuacoatl’s Eye was performed on January 27-28, 2011 at (le) Poisson Rouge in New York City, featuring Du Yun on vocals and Metropolis Ensemble led by conductor Andrew Cyr.


Q2 Music Live Concert Hallucinations: Metropolis Ensemble

Listen here:


Press

By Steve Smith Jan. 28, 2011

What impressed most was the diversity of approaches that the composers involved took to stretching a more or less conventional chamber ensemble’s sound through electronic legerdemain. For Du Yun, a Shanghai-born composer who now lives in New York, a laptop computer was a drum on which to tap out tinny, chattering rhythms in “Fallen Warriors, the Cihuacoatl’s Eye,” a roiling entanglement of string glissandos and shudders, mournful woodwind cries, ghostly electronic chanting and her own ululating voice.

Read here.

By Ricky Potts
Rising star composer Du Yun contributes Fallen Warriors, the Cihuacoatl’s Eye for winds, string quartet, and electronics. Du Yun uses her unique voice to shed light on the Aztec mythology of Cihuacoatl, the goddess of fertility and childbirth. In many traditions, childbirth has long been compared to warfare and the women who die in childbirth are honored as fallen warriors. At once chaotic and monstrous, this piece ultimately traces a sense of resilient lament.

Read here.

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