Libretto by the composer in response to Buxtehude's Member Jesu Nostri
Written in response to the first cantata of Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri—entitled “Ad pedes” (to the feet)—dress is magic amulets, dark, from My feet explores the troubling historic use of crucifixion nails as magic or medicinal amulets. Inspired by both Catholic rituals and the equally ritualistic nature of extreme drone metal, the work seeks to create a meditative, almost unearthly space, where a post-modern Christ figure comments on the practice of crucifixion, the ghastly use of crucifixion nails, and the complexities of His own death in the context of the salvation narrative.
dress is magic amulets, dark, from My feet was commissioned by The Crossing, and Donald Nally, conductor, with major support from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. It was premiered by the on Friday June 24, 2016 at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, and subsequently in New York City on August 8, 2016 as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival.
– David T. Little, April 7, 2016