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Prophetiae Sibyllarum

author of text

Jeff Dolven’s poems propose statistics as the modern analogue of prophecy. The modern sibyl teaches that one in five Baltimore children will develop asthma, that one in sixteen hundred Chicago children is homeless—giving us the kind of ambiguous foreknowledge familiar from myth. Like the ancient sibyls, Jeff’s are associated with a specific city; unlike their predecessors, these new-fangled sibyls articulate solid statistical facts. This mixture of scientific and prophetic language was particularly meaningful to me both on an intellectual level and as the father of two small children (I never realized how much anxiety is associated with parenting.) The end of the piece, which alternately includes and omits the words 'barely', gestures toward an acceptance of the pain inherent in life.

from notes by Dmitri Tymoczko © 2018


Lassus & Tymoczko: Sibylla
Studio Master: SIGCD520Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


No 1: Sibylla Baltimoris  Unto us a child is born
Track 7 on SIGCD520 [3'18] Download only
No 2: Sibylla Clevelandiae  Lo let a glass be raised
Track 8 on SIGCD520 [2'25] Download only
No 3: Sibylla Chicagonis  Behold the day is nigh
Track 9 on SIGCD520 [2'56] Download only
No 4: Sibylla Washingtonii  May a place be set
Track 10 on SIGCD520 [2'18] Download only
No 5: Sibylla Philadelphiae  Let the starry host proclaim
Track 11 on SIGCD520 [2'54] Download only
No 6: Sibylla Camdenis  Hark how the choir of angels sings
Track 12 on SIGCD520 [4'08] Download only

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