for a cappella TTBB Choir
Commissioned for Cantus by the American
Composers Forum with funds provided by
Combining Hebrew, Latin, and Arabic texts from the Torah, Bible, and QUR’AN, \kânün\ is a transliterated setting of Shemot/Exodus 20:13 (“You shall not murder;/Thou shalt not kill.”) combined with an excerpt from Surah 5:32 (“Whosoever killed a man...it would be as if he killed all the people.”) The work's title (pronounced either like the English canon or phonetically as \kah-noon\) translates loosely as “law” or “rule” in all three languages.
The piece is a personal meditation on the seemingly endless repetition of violence in God’s name – not just recently in the Middle East, but across the world for many centuries – and focuses on one of the most important principles shared by these three major world religions.
For answering countless questions about language and pronunciation, special thanks to: Umut Fahrioglu, Lahoucine Machkouri,, Rachel Stock Spilker, and Mark Swanson