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Waves & Lines

for soprano, trio, and electronics

Year:  2017   ·  Duration:  55m
Instrumentation:  Soprano / Piano (with some playing inside the piano) / Double bass with C-extension and D-gate / Percussion [Purerehua (Bullroarer), Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, Triangle, Tambourine, Low wood block, Shaker, Drum set with: cymbals (ride and crash and if possible, a small cymbal for use with friction mallet), snare, medium tom-tom, low tom-tom, kick drum] / 2x MIDI foot pedals

Year:  2017
Duration:  55m
Instrumentation  Soprano / Piano (with some ...

Composer:   Gemma Peacocke

Films, Audio & Samples

Gemma Peacocke: Waves & Lin...

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Waves and Lines is based on a collection of Afghan women’s folk poems called landays. These poems are passed down secretly as a sung oral tradition and were collected and translated by Eliza Griswold in the book I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from contemporary Afghanistan.

Landays comprise a single rhyming couplet on subjects like love, grief, home, and war. They relay both a collective and a very individual experience so vivid and relatable that it is hard not to be captivated by the passion, desperation, and humour of the authors.

The ultraconservative regime of the Taliban has meant that the lives of Afghan women are largely invisible to the outside world. Landays offer a surprising and vivid glimpse into this secret world.

Exploring the distance, anonymity and strange intimacy of phone calls, text messages, and radio broadcasts in which the poems are shared, the song cycle features the use of fixed electronics and projections.

Contents note

  1. Bees
  2. Love
  3. Father
  4. Ice cream
  5. War
  6. I Am the Beggar of the World
  7. Separation
  8. London

Text note

Text from I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from contemporary Afghanistan by Eliza Griswold