Ivano Ascari, Trumpet
Instrumentation: Amplified trumpet and stereo electronics
(Versions also available for cello, clarinet, flute, soprano sax)
Commission: Ivano Ascari, Trumpet
Ivano Ascari, Mondi Sonori, XV Edizione Trento
Conservatorio Bonporti Trento
For the Fallen, originally scored for trumpet and electronics, was commissioned by Ivano Ascari, to whom it is dedicated. After discussing the project with him, I decided to take my inspiration from, and create the electronics from, recordings of the Capana del Cauditi (Bell for the Fallen) in Rovereto, Italy, his hometown. Sometimes called Maria Dolens, the bell was originally cast from cannons melted after World War I and is one of the largest ringing bells in the world. Built between 1918 and 1925 to commemorate the fallen in all wars, it is rung daily in their memory. The bell has been recast twice and is now located on Colle di Miravalle, overlooking the city of Rovereto. While the political situation changes in its particulars, the topic remains all too timely, and I composed For the Fallen while thinking both of those who fell in World War I, and the thousands upon thousands who have fallen in war since then.
The trumpet part sometimes blends with the bell sounds, ringing for the fallen, at other times it rises in mourning, to wild keening, before closing with a sense of resignation. The original bell recordings were kindly provided by sound engineer Marco Olivotto. In performance, the instrument should be lightly amplified to inhabit the same sonic space as the electronics. Ivano Ascari gave the premiere at the Mondi Sonori XV Edizione Trento Festival in Trento, Italy, hosted by the Conservatorio Bonporti Trento.
Since composing the trumpet version, I have created additional versions for a variety of terrific musicians: cellist Madeleine Shapiro, saxophonist Susan Fancher, and flutist Lindsey Goodman, with clarinet and violin versions in preparation. For the Fallen has been recorded by Ivano Ascari on his CD A Hundred Years, by saxophonist Drew Whiting on his CD In Lights Starkly Different. and by flutist Lindsey Goodman on her CD Returning to Heights Unseen —JS
[Recording by saxophonist Drew Whiting] “…One of my favorite pieces is For the Fallen by Judith Shatin, originally written for trumpet and electronics. The electronics are created from recordings of the Capana del Cauditi (“the bell for the fallen”) in Rovereto, Italy. The bells were fashioned from cannons melted after World War I to memorialize those who were killed, and that somber and very moving inspiration served as Shatin’s musical foundation. The piece is largely one of resigned acceptance, but with painfuloutbursts providing contrast. I came back to this music a few times and always found it very moving. –Henry Fogel, Fanfare 43:6 (July/August 2020)
[Recording by flutist Lindsey Goodman ] “…For the Fallen by Judith Shatin closes the album with the pre-recorded sound of a deep tolling bell made from cannons melted after World War I. The flute is plaintive and despairing–anguished flutter tongue, timbral trills, and tongue rams give way to a final lament for those fallen in war. The electronics intensify the expressivity of Goodman’s part, slowly distorting the sound of the bell on course for the work’s climax….” –I Care If You Listen (6/7/2018Jeremiah Cawley)