Cellist Mattias Rodrick approached me and asked for a new piece of music for cello and choir. I in turn got in touch with Bengt Ollén and Sofia Vokalensemble who were keen to do a project together.
After quite a bit of research trying to find suitable and inspirational lyrics to work with I found the new Swedish app ‘EXILE – Free poets on the run’ by RATS Teater (Research, Arts & Technology for Society) at Stockholm University. Here was a very inspirational base for a new work of music! RATS had put together 6 poems taken from three world class poets who have in common that they all fled their native countries and found refuge in Sweden. Nelly Sachs (Germany), Jila Mossaed (Iran) and Faraj Bayrakdar (Syria).
I strongly recommend downloading and experiencing the app EXILE, it is really gripping, and stylish too! Here you can read more about the RATS project: EXIL presentation
I found the EXILE project particularly resounding living abroad myself (albeit not forced!) for the last 20 years.
The work was premiered at Sofia Church in Stockholm June 8th 2017, and was recorded by Swedish Radio P2. Mattias Rodrick was cello soloist and Bengt Ollén conducted the Sofia Vokalensemble.
I have put together a short preview from movement 4 of the piece, click here to listen.