Parvus Meus Malleus
(my little hammer)


Parvus Meus Mallaeus (my little hammer)
scored for: soprano, string quartet, and piano
duration: 15 minutes
text: Luisa Villani

Commissioned by/Premiere:

Rochelle Martin (world premiere)
Rochelle Martin, soprano / Lisa Sylvester, piano / USC String Quartet
March 25, 2007 / Alfred Newman Recital Hall, Los Angeles CA


Recording and score are available on request

About the work:

Parvus Meus Malleaus (my little hammer) is a dramatic scene for soprano and chamber ensemble taking its inspiration from the Malleus Malleficarum ("hammer of the witches"). The Malleficarum was written in the late 1400s to prove the existence of witchcrat, and to give instruction on identify and destroy a witch. The publication remained an integral part of the witch craze in Europe and colonial America. Parvus Meus Malleaus gives voice to a woman falsely accused and convicted of practicing witchcraft, and occurs in the moments just before her execution.

an excerpt from Luisa Villani's text:

If you felt a nothingness so large
it threatened to undo you,
you’d find your feet testing the earth too
no matter what the weather.
You’d dance this hectic kingdom of stones
just to feel the good, good bruise,
just to point,

“There. Still whole enough to be wounded.”

More about poet Luisa Villani