Where We Lost Our Shadows is a piece for orchestra, video and soloists focusing on human migration as a question of perpetual movement and exodus that repeats throughout history and passes on collective and individual traumas and rejuvenations from generation to generation. The music uses a collection of Qawwali raga with references to rain and water as a symbol, from its historical provenance in the 13th century and its subsequent migration through space and time (Central Asia, Bengal, the global South Asian diaspora), as well as its migration through genres, forms, and techniques, by both genders and in settings both devotional and secular. It also sets text by Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan, who has lived in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Tunisia. The video explores the meaning of home, belonging, and identity, inspired by the artist’s journey with a group of refugees, which was driven by his love of his late grandmother, who left him the trauma of displacement. It portrays human reactions to these concepts in abstract and specific ways. Where We Lost Our Shadows recognizes and depicts the timeless struggle of human migration and its many effects while celebrating the resilient human spirit that instigates and survives it.
Is there time left
for me to say to her Good evening Mom I’m back
with a bullet in my heart and that’s my pillow
I want to rest?
if war knocks say he’s taking a rest
- Ghassan Zaqtan
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
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