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Program note: Bright and Black Blood

  • Stephen Cronin
  • Source: The Song Company Haunted Lullabies 30 September 1993

Bright and Black Blood Stephen CRONIN (b.1960)

Bright and Black Blood
was originally part of the Sydney Metropolitan Opera
performance, V¡a Crucis Australis. American poet Leon Waller has created a
metaphor which compares the suffering of AIDS victims with that of Simon the
Cyrean who was forced to carry the cross for Christ on the way to Christ's
crucifixion. Waller's text highlights feelings of abandonment and rejection which
people with illnesses such as AIDS where the social stigma of the disease can
overshadow the individual's physical and emotional suffering.

The poem is sung by a solo voice sparsely accompanied while the other voices
recite a catalogue of names and ages as memorial to people who have died from AIDS.