White: Weakness – Cowan: Macha

Barbara White (composer), Tom Cowan (composer)

Catalog #: TROY1441
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Format: Digital

Weakness, an opera by Barbara White, is based on an old Celtic story known as "The Curse of Macha." White was inspired to use this story for an opera after spending time in a Chicago monastery, where she participated in a seminar taught by Tom Cowan on Druid Wisdom Tales. Cowan, an internationally respected teacher of shamanism and Celtic spirituality was in turn, inspired by White's opera, where the story of Macha came alive for him, to write his own tale, which is presented on this disc. Barbara White has become increasingly active in theatrical performance and as a videomaker and she remains an idiosyncratic and searching clarinetist. She is a professor of music at Princeton University and has received awards and honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Koussevitzky Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, among others.


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Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
Weakness Barbara White Sarah Davis, soprano, Douglas Gillespie, speaker, Riley Lee, bamboo flute, Barbara White, clarinets, Taylor Levine electric guitar, Dominic Donato, percussion, Michael Pratt, conductor
Macha Tom Cowan Rose McSweeney, flutes and clarinets, Greg Silver, fiddle, Charles MacDonald, guitar, Konrad Kaczmarek, electronic media


  • "Fine performances by all, especially by soprano Sarah Davis. The music is strange but fascinating, and it fits perfectly with this very strange story."

    – American Record Guide

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