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Filiseti Mekidesi

by Elliott Sharp Operas

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    The 2 CD wallet comes with high quality audio files mastered by Elliott Sharp, with graphic design by Janene Higgins, and a 4-panel insert with images from Higgins's visuals for the premiere of Filiseti Mekidesi in Bochum, Germany.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Filiseti Mekidesi via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Filiseti Mekidesi via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $21 USD or more 


Cosmic Gifts 07:17
Humans Move 02:28
Enter Return 02:56
Plutonus 05:43
Tempest 08:33
Time To Go 03:25
Enter Return 02:53


The words “Filiseti” and “Mekidesi” mean shelter and migration in the
Amharic language spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea where modern humanity is supposed to have originated. In this work, the migration began with the arrival on earth of organic molecules, perhaps even fully formed DNA. We are all immigrants.

Filiseti Mekidesi does not tell a linear narrative but is, instead, a meditation on the search for safety and neutrality, a place free from danger. The work uses sonic and poetic means to reflect upon moments and situations in history or which are even currently taking place. Filiseti Mekidesi offers neither analysis nor solutions: it is a set of reflections across the audio-visual spectrum; a psycho-acoustic observation station - both an opera and an installation. Performed and recorded at the Turbinenhalle of the Jahrhünderte Halle, a former coal mine and power station in Bochum, Germany, the venue offered a range of spaces for actions and processes. Audiences were invited to wander around, focusing on the performers at their areas or listening to their electronically-produced sound “shadows”.

Formidable forces were assembled to manifest Filiseti Mekidesi. For the texts, two of my esteemed and long-time collaborators, poets Tracie Morris and Edwin Torres, contributed powerful ruminations on the subjects at hand. Bringing these texts to life are the magnificent vocalists: Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran and the vocal group Voxnova Italia. The music was performed by the Köln-based ensemble, Musicfabrik, an astounding collection of virtuosic soloists who also understand how to blend together as an ensemble forming both structural underpinning and declarative extrapolations. Finally, the stunning projection designs by Janene Higgins presented a visual counterpoint, both generative and analytical.

There are multiple layers to the music of Filiseti Mekidesi. To prepare the score for performance, first to be composed was a set of gestures that would be transformed into loops and textures for playback. Conducted very much like a set of cues for a film score, these gestures were recorded months in advance at the Musikfabrik studio in Köln as well as at various sites in Italy and then edited, modulated, remixed. Integrated into
the score, these sounds sometimes serve as backgrounds for the live performers to interact with, sometimes provide underscore to the projections, and sometimes stand on their own as sound sculpture. Filiseti Mekidesi in performance brings the audience into a multidimensional sonic space - at times hyper-detailed and concentrated, at other
times, environmental and atmospheric - always spatial, always kinetic, always ripe with multiple meanings. —E#, December 2020 NYC


released December 28, 2020

Elliott Sharp - composer, libretto, director
Tracie Morris - texts
Edwin Torres - texts
Kamilya Jubran - soprano
Voxnova Italia:
Soprano: Susanna Rigacci
Mezzosoprano: Monica Benvenuti, Anna Clementi
Tenor: Sandro Naglia
Baritone: Oliviero Giorgiutti
Bass: Nicholas Isherwood

Flute: Helen Bledsoe 
Oboe: Peter Veale 
Clarinet: Carl Rosman 
Horn: Christine Chapman 
Trumpet: Matthew Conley 
Trombone: Bruce Collings 
Tuba: Melvyn Poore 
Keyboards: Ulrich Löffler, Benjamin Kobler 
Percussion and drums: Rie Watanabe, Michael Weilacher 
Violin: Hannah Weirich 
Viola: Axel Porath 
Violoncello: Dirk Wietheger
Contrabass: Florentin Ginot

Filiseti Mekidesi premiered in September 2018 at the Turbinenhalle in Bochum as part of the Ruhrtriennale.

Recorded live in concert at Ruhrtriennale, Bochum Sept. 2018 by Paul Jeukendrup and Thomas Wegner

Musikfabrik samples recorded by Daniel Seitz at Musikfabrik studio, Koln.
Voxnova Italia samples recorded by E#.

Mixed and mastered by Elliott Sharp at Studio zOaR, NYC

My gratitude to all of the singers, musicians, writers, and tech crew without whom Filiseti Mekidesi could never have been realized.

Special Thanks to Stefanie Carp, Matthias Osterwold, Michael Bölter, Thomas Fichter, Ingrid Buschmann, Pavel Borodin, Scott Fields, James Ilgenfritz, and Janene.

Design by Janene Higgins

Published by zOaR Music - BMI


all rights reserved



Elliott Sharp Operas New York, New York

Elliott Sharp: composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, author, leads Orchestra Carbon, Tectonics and Terraplane with compositional strategies including fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors. His collaborators have included Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Cecil Taylor; Debbie Harry; Hubert Sumlin; Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt ... more

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