Thirty-Eight Tears

Thirty-Eight Tears (2012)

solo cello
Written for Kirsten Whitson with funding from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council

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"Thirty-Eight Tears" was written to honor the 38 Dakota warriors who lost their lives in the US-Dakota War in 1862. Thirty-eight Dakota warriors were hanged at the end of the war. As they marched to their execution, they were singing the hymn "Many and Great" by Joseph Renville. The hymn tune is featured at the beginning and throughout the piece, sometimes buried in the texture. In the piece there are 38 sharp events that interrupt the music, representing each life that was lost.