Singer Ileana Santamaría wrote a poem that she then brought to musician Raffi Dimoian to produce an intimate spoken word piece imagining Eve’s response to Adam from Genesis 2:21-24:
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Written and Vocals by Ileana Santamaría, Composed by Raffi Dimoian. 2017
From the Artist:
This piece, “Eve’s song”, came about as a response to Genesis 2:21-24 and to the beautiful idea of a helpmeet* – Ezer in the Ancient Hebrew, a helper suitable for man, a companion on this Earth that was given first to him and then to her and their progeny. In a way, it was also a response to the deeply moving response to the same passage conceived by Spark and Echo Band in their first album. Titled “Flesh”, that work – in itself Adam’s response to this wondrous creature made from and for him, marked by an exuberant, childlike joy and excitement in showing her around the garden and declaring giddily, ‘I was waiting, I was waiting for you’, made quite an impression on me. Recently I was reminded of that fascination with the idea of Eve after reading a blurb from Christian author Gary Thomas’ book Cherish, in which he espouses the notion of Eve being the only woman on Earth as a guideline for men struggling with temptation, calling on them to cherish their wives (hence the title) as the sole woman on Earth, the precious gem crafted for and given especially to them. The seedling of an idea was thus born and lay dormant in me until recently, namely, that of responding to this Scripture by assuming Eve’s voice as she responds to Adam about her calling from and to his side and their calling together.
Raffi has been a perfect collaborator for this piece, helping me flesh it out from its bare-bones poem form and suggesting verbal markings that brought out both the music in the recitation and the deeper meaning in the words themselves. After that initial interaction with and response to the piece, he then took to the piano and, with each new run-through, engaged my delivery, helping along the shift from monologue set to music to an interplay in the fullest sense – both interactive and playful, words responding to and bouncing off of notes and vice versa.
It is our hope and prayer that “Eve’s song” will capture something that will speak to and, in keeping with the spirit and the objective of this wonderful Spark and Echo Arts project, illuminate some aspect of the person of Eve, who and what she was made to be before the Fall, beyond the infamous fruit of the tree she is perennially associated with. The piece aims to tie in that destiny “redeemed, restored”, as one line reads, into the redemption of our humanity in Jesus Christ, and in particular, of the aspect of woman as partner – a femininity that goes way beyond one-dimensional stereotypes back to its true roots in gentle yet fiercely loving strength and capacity to love and serve and to follow our Lord together with man through the hardships of this life.
* helpmeet, help·mate
a helpful companion or partner, especially one’s husband or wife.
Origin: late 17th century (as helpmeet ): from an erroneous reading of Gen. 2:18, 20, where Adam’s future wife is described as “an help meet for him” (i.e., a suitable helper for him). The variant helpmate came into use in the early 18th century.
Ileana Santamaría began the performing artist life as an aspiring Latin singer over a decade ago, embarking on the long journey of fulfilling an aspiration rooted in an eclectic, music-filled childhood. After much meandering, following (mostly unwittingly) where the Lord led, she happened upon a voice teacher that opened up her voice and found beauty in it, a surprise to Ileana, who had long struggled with vocal technique and producing healthy, beautiful sound. While waiting for the surprise of getting to sing, her Heavenly Father bestowed upon her many other gracious gifts – a knack for foreign languages, work in an international organization, friends from many countries and walks of life, and a talent for and enjoyment of crafting spoken word poetry, which Ileana first dabbled in producing and performing in her college years. Today she is privileged and honored to collaborate on this piece with her dear friend Raffi Dimoian: French horn player, pianist, budding spoken word artist and fellow appreciator of wordsmithery and language (bio below).
Raffi Dimoian set out on his journey to multifaceted, inventive music-making in early childhood; classical piano was his first port of call (and a home base he would return to often) before choosing the French horn as primary instrument in his teens. Drawn to jazz and world music, Raffi came to the United States, the first foreign student to attend the California Institute of the Arts on a full scholarship. The palette of sounds Raffi works with in composing and producing edgy, lyrical tracks is enriched by his fertile aural imagination and his eclectic musical influences, which span the sounds of his Armenian heritage and Bulgarian upbringing as well as Middle Eastern microtonal melodies and African rhythms, to name but a few. Raffi is a lifelong language buff and has enjoyed the process of helping create music for a spoken word piece, finding himself inspired to write some of his own spoken word poetry as a result.
This work was curated by Jonathon Roberts.
All materials are copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.