„Signals from Shushan“ is a 11 minute piece for string orchestra, solo violin and additional percussion. It was originally created in 2017 in response to a request by violinist Liv Migdal and premiered in 2018 in the context of the Berlin-„Neue Meister“ series, where it was performed by her and the „Deutsches Kammerorchester (DKO)“, conducted by the composer himself.
The title refers to the fictional city of Shushan from the biblical book of „Esther“, a story which constitutes the basis for the Jewish Holiday of „Purim“. Purim is roughly comparable to the Christian ‚Carnival‘ – as people dress up in costumes, dance and drink alcohol, putting in place a lavish feast, entirely based on a blurry ancient-oriental story.
Musically the piece is based on the melody in which the first part of the book of Esther is traditionally sung in the synagogue. The lead violin picks up and develops this ancient, formulistic cantilena-melody, developing a musical narrative and a progression, which peaks in an ecstatic dance. Elements of Oriental-Jewish music culture including their specific rhythms are unleashed.
This is a highly exceptional and powerfully striking piece!