more from
In a Circle Records
We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Osvaldo Golijov - "Falling Out of Time" (ICR017)

by Silkroad Ensemble

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Beautifully designed package includes a 36-page booklet, featuring the libretto for Falling Out of Time, as well as artwork by the acclaimed American artist, Mary Frank.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Osvaldo Golijov - "Falling Out of Time" (ICR017) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 10 days

      $15 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


CENTAUR: It’s like a murmur, inside my head, it never stops a dry rustle, dead leaves, and there is someone treading on them Like a story… I have to tell it like a story. Find the words to understand what happened to him… because he’ll never, never… It’s like a murmur… a buzz… inside my head... MAN: I will go there, to him There, to him. WOMAN: There is no 'there' He's not. He's not, and not, and not. CENTAUR: Find the words to understand Write it down like a story: There’s a man There’s a woman He will walk She will not. MAN WHO WILL WALK: No It’s impossible that we, that the sun, the clocks, the moon, the couples, that blood in our veins, that spring and autumn, that things just are.
MAN: At night, people came They carried a message  in their mouths They walked a long way, quietly grave, And perhaps, as they did so, they stole a taste, a lick. With a child’s wonder they learned they could hold  death in their mouths like candy made of poison to which they are miraculously immune. We opened the door, We stood there, you and I, shoulder to shoulder, they on the threshold and we facing them, and they, mercifully, quietly, stood there and  gave us the breath of death. WOMAN: I knew, tonight you would come. Don’t be afraid, I did not shout when he was born, and I won’t shout now either.
Come Chaos 03:00
WOMAN: Come, Chaos Come, Chaos MAN: I saw one eye weeping and one eye crazed. A human eye, extinguished, and the eye of a beast soaked with blood, insane, peered out at me. CENTAUR: Now, for a moment, they sink. Both not saying the same words. Not bewailing him, for now, but bewailing the music of their previous life, the wonder of simplicity, levity. WOMAN, MAN & CENTAUR: The earth opens its mouth and swallows us (them). MAN: Here I fall— I do not fall. I fall— I do not fall. CENTAUR: Stop! Return to her, Return…
Step 03:18 video
WOMAN ATOP BELFRY: Step. Another step. He walks  and walks  to him. He is  an unleashed question, an open shout. My heart beats: he walks. My blood pounds: he walks. No. I did not go there. Atop a belfry I walk alone now in circles slowly, slowly, nights, days, while he on the hilltops, facing me, days, nights orbits his own circle.
Come, Son 03:50
WALKING MAN: Look at me, my son: Here I am not. Come! I am not here. The house is yours. My blood your blood. Come, be present, vibrate, laugh, everything now is yes. so love, burn, lust, fuck. Quick, my child, my eyelids tremble! Quick, devour, be deep, be sad, rage, rave, hurry, my child, dawn is rising! Touch a warm body, a woman, breasts in your hands, the head of a newborn child, unborn to you. No, Stop— Go back to rest, to obscurity, to oblivion, just do not see with my own eyes what happened to you.
(Townspeople are drawn into the Walking Man’s journey; all characters are voiced by the Centaur) CENTAUR: Look there: It’s the midwife and her husband, the cobbler. They walk behind the Walking Man. MIDWIFE: Y-y-y-esterday she W-w-w-ould have been five COBBLER: Poisoning your soul again? MIDWIFE: W-w-w-hat is in your m-m-m-outh? Open! COBBLER: Don’t touch! Leave it! MIDWIFE: Th-th-th-there’s blood… Sp-p-p-it the nails! CENTAUR: And look, look, there! It’s the mute net-mender. NET MENDER: Agh...agh… CENTAUR: And the elderly math teacher muttering his equation, like Spinoza: ELDERLY MATH TEACHER: The object—the life of the son— must never be located in the universe at a distance from which the father—the observing subject— may encompass all of him with one gaze from beginning to end. CENTAURr: …and they groan… and trip...and stand… walking half asleep… behind the walking man… A wail rolls over the desert. They walk towards a cliff cut into round smooth mountain: A barren brain-hill. It pulsates, perhaps once in a thousand years. It is the brain of the universe It is not what emits the wail It is desolation. Only desolation. Mute and deaf and flat It has no wails No thoughts It has no answers And no love.
Walking 14:43
WALKING MAN: Walking, Walking my mind away To understand. Walking, Sleeping my mind away My head rests on your shoulders I don’t know who carries whom CENTAURr:   He walks, Puts himself to sleep WALKING MAN: My legs lift slowly from the earth Lightly, slowly I hover Between  here, and there. CENTAURr: It breaks my heart, my son, To think one could-- To think I have-- Found The words. He walks And puts himself To sleep. He asks: Where are you? My son, my son. WALKING MAN: My legs lift slowly from the earth Lightly, slowly I hover Between  here, and there. WALKING MAN & CENTAUR: The thread will soon unravel and we will glide and look at whatever is there at whatever we dare to see. WALKING MAN: This void, this crack, where your absence still breathes, palpitating, where one can still touch the 'here', still almost feel the warming hand that touches 'there' CENTAUR: He walks And puts Himself To Sleep
CENTAUR: Hey, you, walking man When you meet him, if you meet him, what will you tell him? Will you tell him of his brother, born after him? Will you tell him that you took all his pictures from his room? That you couldn’t bear it any longer? That you gave his dog to a boy in the street?
Fly 04:07
A WALKER (voiced by CENTAUR): Look, there— A leaf, green. A miracle on the rock. Look there— A fly lands on the leaf, cleans his body and extends his translucent wings. He hovers and then lands again, Vibrant… a riddle… But he should be careful, right? From the one in the web. No! He touched it. The fly, with the tip of his wing. He touched it. Lost. Disaster. We know, instantly. He struggles, tries to take flight, and buzzes until the skies almost tear apart. His mouth opens wide: What? What are you trying to say? And what? What is it that you know now, that you did not know when you were spawned?
Go Now 13:37
WOMAN ATOP THE BELFRY: Go now, Be like him WALKING MAN: You were right, woman. I am here and he’s there And a timeless border stands between here and there. Thus to stand, to fill with knowledge. As a wound fills up with blood: This is to be man. WOMAN ATOP THE BELFRY: Go now, Be like him Conceive him, yet be your death, too. Like his death be now but only till the shadow of his end falls on the shadow of your being. And there, my love, among the shadows of father-son, There will come peace—for him, For you.
WALKING MAN: Ayeka? Where? Where are you? How are you there? And who are you there? Ayeka?
Breathe 03:13
Voice of a Boy: There is  breath there is  breath inside the pain there is breath


In a Circle Records is thrilled to present Osvaldo Golijov’s Falling Out of Time, written for and recorded by the composer’s longtime collaborators and friends, the Silkroad Ensemble. The group’s most recent albums include the Grammy award-winning Sing Me Home and the soundtrack for Ken Burns & Lynn Novick’s film, The Vietnam War (also available on Bandcamp)

The seed of this musical project was sown at a 2002 encounter between Osvaldo Golijov and Yitzhak Frankenthal, founder of The Parents Circle, an organization of Israelis and Palestinians who have lost family members to the ongoing conflict. Mr. Frankenthal shared the story of a bereaved father who could not reconcile himself to leaving his dead son and reentering the world of time. For many days he remained at his son’s side, at night sleeping upon the grave. Narrating with his actions a story of madness and truth.

The seed found soil 12 years later, when Osvaldo read David Grossman’s brilliant, almost unbearable novel about a man who walks, a father who describes with his feet impossible, ever-widening circles, driven to go to his dead son. Part play, part poem, part fable, the book is a journey “out of time” as parents grieve the death of a child, a quest to comprehend a loss beyond words. Osvaldo has conceived this 80-minute tone poem in voices for 13 members of the Grammy-winning Silkroad Ensemble, the collective whose delicacy of musical expression he describes as like ​“a harp of a thousand hairs.”​ In a form that he calls an​ “epic lament”​ and in a voice that draws from the musical and narrative roots of the the ballads of Central Asia and early Delta Blues, Osvaldo gives new expression to the timely notion that, as Edward Hirsch writes in his New York Times review of the book, ​“Grief is democratic. It crosses barriers and strikes at will.”

Osvaldo Golijov says: ​“When I first read Davd Grossman’s novel Falling Out of Time, I could think of nothing else. I felt I had to set it to music. And I knew the only people who could manifest in sound the infinitely nuanced world of the book are the musicians of the Silkroad Ensemble.”

Falling Out of Time was commissioned by Silkroad. Concerts at Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall and Celebrity Series in Boston have been postponed to the ’21-’22 season. David Grossman’s books have been translated into more than 30 languages, and Grossman is the 2017 recipient of the Man Booker Prize and the 2018 recipient of the Israel Prize for literature.

The Silkroad Ensemble’s Sing Me Home won the 2017 Grammy for Best World Music Album. The artists include Biella da Costa, twice awarded Venezuela’s “Premio Nacional del Artista”; Wu Tong, founding vocalist of Lunhui, the first rock band ever to appear on Chinese television; and the rising Dutch singer Nora Fischer, whose most recent US premiere was with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Among them the artists and production team on Falling Out of Time have won 13 Grammys.

Inspired by the exchange of ideas and traditions along the historical Silk Road, cellist Yo-Yo Ma established Silkroad in 1998 to explore how the arts can advance global understanding. Silkroad presents musical performances and learning programs, and fosters new forms of collaboration around the world. Since 2000, the musicians of the Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble have been central to Silkroad’s mission. Under the artistic direction of Yo-Yo Ma and representing a global array of cultures, the Ensemble models new forms of cultural exchange through performances, workshops, and residencies. The artists of the Ensemble draw on the rich tapestry of traditions from around the world that make up our many-layered contemporary identities, weaving together the foreign and familiar to create a new musical language.


released October 9, 2020

Falling Out of Time
A Tone Poem in Voices

By Osvaldo Golijov
Performed by the Silkroad Ensemble

Text adapted by Osvaldo Golijov from the novel by David Grossman
Translation from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen
Commissioned by Silkroad
Sung in Hebrew & English

The Silkroad Ensemble:

Biella da Costa - Woman, later Woman Atop Belfry
Nora Fischer - Centaur
Wu Tong - Man, later Walking Man

Dan Brantigan - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Shawn Conley - Acoustic Bass, Electric Fretless Bass
Nicholas Cords - Viola
Jeremy Flower - Guitar, Modular Synthesizer
Johnny Gandelsman - Violin
Kayhan Kalhor - Kamancheh, Shah Kaman
Karen Ouzounian - Cello
Shane Shanahan - Percussion, Drum Set
Mazz Swift - Violin
Wu Man - Pipa
Wu Tong - Sheng

Recording Engineers: Jody Elff, Kevin Killen
Editing Engineer: Alex Venguer
Mixing Engineer: Kevin Killen
Mastering Engineer: Oscar Zambrano
Producer: Johnny Gandelsman
Producer: Jeremy Flower
Executive Producer (the Shepherd) - Cristin Bagnall

Artwork: Mary Frank, courtesy of the artist and DC Moore Gallery, NYC
Art Direction and Design: Christopher Kornmann for Spit + Image
Photograph of Silkroad Ensemble: David O'Connor

Additional Percussion (track 6) - Jamey Haddad

For Silkroad

Anthony Barbir, Deputy Director
Kathy Fletcher, Executive Director
Rhiannon Giddens, Artistic Director
Adam Gurczak Artistic Programs Coordinator
Liz Keller-Tripp Producer & Artistic Programs Director
Jessica Shuttleworth Director of Marketing


all rights reserved



Silkroad Ensemble Boston, Massachusetts

The artists of the Grammy award-winning Silkroad Ensemble represent dozens of nationalities and artistic traditions, from Spain and Japan to Syria and the United States, and draw on a rich tapestry of traditions from around the world to create a new musical language that weaves together the foreign and the familiar.

The group's album Sing Me Home won the 2016 Grammy for Best World Music Album.
... more


contact / help

Contact Silkroad Ensemble

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Silkroad Ensemble, you may also like: