Voices of Afghanistan

(various poets)

Year: 2021

Instrumentation: chamber choir & violin

Duration: 14 minutes

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Program Notes

As America, after twenty years of waging a war that should never have begun, finally withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving chaos in its wake, it brought home to me that my country is incorrigible, doomed to ignore the lessons of the past and endlessly repeat the same mistakes. Feeling so powerless to effect any positive change, I turned, as always to music. With the world focused on all of the turmoil in Afghanistan, I knew that the greatness of Afghanistan’s past was being overlooked – a country so rich in poetic and musical tradition. It was to that voice that I wanted to give expression and turned to poems, both ancient and contemporary, to set this music with hope that after so many years of horrific violence, the poetic soul of Afghanistan can one day be reborn without oppression, whether imposed from without or within.

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