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Ephphetha sets text by the poet and theologian Shannon Berry and represents the first of many collaborations between the composer and Ms. Berry. The text for this piece is a single poem broken into three sections, each with a distinct character, yet with clear connections to the other parts of the poem. The title means “be opened” and refers to the passage in Mark’s gospel recounting the healing of a deaf man (Mark 7:34). As with many of Ms. Berry’s works, matters of faith are woven throughout images of daily life, and while this scriptural theme is found throughout the poem, only in the third section are there overt references to traditional religious imagery.
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