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

Feb 17, 2014

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.