Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Early Christian diary inspires music.(Arts & Culture)

Byline: Emily Van Cleve For the Journal

* 'Perpetua' on program for 20th Century Unlimited concert

In A.D. 202, a 22-year-old North African woman named Vivia Perpetua was imprisoned and publicly murdered because she was a Christian convert. The diary she kept before her death is one of the oldest surviving documents of the early Christians.

Texas Tech University School of Music composer Steven Paxton became intrigued by the heartfelt plight of this young woman when he found out about her diary while watching a PBS special. After a quick look on the Internet, he found the complete diary translated into English and went about the laborious task of adapting the text for use in his new composition "The Diary of Perpetua. …

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