Where We Lost Our Shadows


Performance forces:
female voice, male voice — orchestra, percussion soloist, video



Where We Lost Our Voices is a piece for orchestra, video, and soloists that focuses on human migration as a question of perpetual movement and exodus that repeats throughout history, passing on collective and individual traumas and rejuvenations from generation to generation. The music uses a collection of ragas with references to rain and water as a symbol, from its historical provenance in the ancient time (Pre-Islamic period), and its subsequent migration through space and time (Arabia, Persia, Central Asia, Indo-Pakistani desert, and 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 of the poem “Pillow” 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 — a journey driven by love for his late grandmother, who left him the trauma of displacement. It portrays human reactions to these concept 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. — Du Yun