Don’t Beat A Word


Program Note

Commissioned by Khemia Ensemble

Featured on Khemia Ensemble’s debut album Intersections, released in December 2022 on Ravello Records (PARMA)

Program note:

This is not a breakup song.

Lyrics (written by Nina Shekhar):

hush my heart
don’t beat a word
don’t let it burn
still my lung
don’t breathe the bait
don’t let it brown

murmur unheard
a lethal whisper
to your ghostly drum
pounding away
how can I stay
when I’m round
on a flat earth

I peel it off
this dirty shell
rip the threads
hair by hair
bald and bare
the way you want to see

I wash the grit
and bleach the stains
shrink the fit
my color fades
zip my lips
this is who I ought to be

About Nina Shekhar

Nina Shekhar (b. 1995) is a composer whose music explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter. Her works have been performed in concert by leading artists including Eighth…