inspired by and dedicated to Suzy Jeiven
Talisman is a two song cycle inspired by Suzy Jeiven’s feature in the Met Museum’s video discussing art’s power of therapy. She finds comfort within the Ethiopian magic scrolls, rich in its history of documenting funeral proceedings and the afterlife. This part of the museum means so much to Suzy because she received a terminal cancer diagnosis ten years ago. Much like the scrolls, her skin is inked from ear to toe. After all, she is a highly sought after, brilliant tattoo artist. She explains “she leaves a talisman on each of her clients.”
The first song in the set “ I watch the worn rope, unravel ” captures the chaos and unruliness in grieving and physical pain. The image of the serpent in the scrolls makes an appearance symbolizing treatments crawling through the body. She begins to think about the scroll, the Ethiopian ink and the skin they are made from. She is left to wonder if she will turn to scroll.
The second song “This, I know” is an ouroboros of sorts. The serpent eats its tail in this round, repeated text of affirmation and acceptance. This is a moment of meditation. We conclude with the thought that Suzy’s art “grants her life, everlasting.”
Original text by Bea Goodwin.