Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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I asked the band whether I might be able to borrow their song to use it my own composition, they were happy to let me do this. I chose to pair this music with a text by Syrian American activist Amal Kassir, a performance poet brought up in Denver whose poem 'My grandmother’s farm' I had come across. Amal was happy for me to set some extracts which paired well as both texts reflect on the values of ‘home’: Assaaleek Band lament the loss and destruction of their home and Amal Kassir talks about how her grandmother believed that the earth could not be broken by the tyrant, it would not yield to him and eventually he would be returned to it.
Many thanks to Assaleek Band for kindly allowing me to use their version of this traditional Syrian song and thanks also to Amal Kassir for allowing me to use extracts of her poem 'My grandmother’s farm'. Amal is represented by Book A Muslim. To learn more about her, visit bookamuslim.com/amal-kassir.
from notes by Joanna Marsh © 2020