Rachel Weeping for Her Children is the composer's response to the horrific events of the September 11 attack on the United States. The title is taken from the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah (35:15) and is quoted in the New Testament after King Herod orders the murder of all male children two years and under in the region of Bethlehem.
A voice was heard in Ramah
Weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children;
And she refused to be comforted,
Because they were no more.
The music quotes a phrase from America the Beautiful , with the musicians singing "Thine alabaster cities." But they are forcefully interrupted before they can utter the word "gleam;" the gleam is stolen, replaced with desolation, death, and destruction.
The piece is intentionally short, because so many lives were cut short. At the conclusion of the work, the composer requests that the audience refrain from applause and that a minute of silence be observed in memory of those who perished.
© Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Jesse Ayers