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Carlos Simon’s An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave

This week, as Minneapolis and the world take in the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, we share a musical response: Carlos Simon’s An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave.

Simon writes, "This piece is an artistic reflection dedicated to those who have been murdered wrongfully by an oppressive power; namely Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown. The stimulus for composing this piece came as a result of prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch announcing that a selected jury had decided not to indict police officer, Darren Wilson after fatally shooting an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. The recurring ominous motif represents the cry of those struck down unjustly in this country. While the predominant essence of the piece is sorrowful and contemplative, there are moments of extreme hope represented by bright consonant harmonies."

Simon wrote this elegy in 2015, and today we share it in honor of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Dolal Idd, Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, Thurman Blevins and so many other lives wrongfully taken by oppressive powers.

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  • This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
    This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
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    Official Airline of the Minnesota Orchestra