Year: 2017

Duration: Approx. 12′

Instrumentation: 0000/4000/timp+3/hp/pno/str & Solo Soprano


*Reading 2017, May with New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra – Jordan Hall, Boston, MA, USA


“Home”. A sense of belonging, of place, of security. A connection to heritage, to culture, to others. But what happens when home is home is no longer? What happens if to realise your hopes, you must leave? What happens if conflict forces you to leave? You arrive in a foreign land. You want to be optimistic, but you are scared, and your identity is challenged every day. You are entirely dislocated from everything you knew. There are no familiar or even friendly faces, or places. Everything is different, even in the smallest, most monotonous ways. You are stranded and cannot return – you have no choice. This new place must become your home, but… could it ever truly become so?

“Home” explores the composer’s own experiences with moving to the United Sates in search of opportunity. Stranded for two years in a foreign land, a world away from all he knew, he could not help but ponder the parallels to his parents’ and grandparents’ experiences, who had immigrated from Sicily and Romania to Australia (albeit in far more difficult circumstances). He looked to their lives as examples, and took solace in learning and practicing the traditions of his heritage. Be it language, food or music, it was a means of connecting to a sense of home. While the work commenced as an exploration of the composer’s own dislocation, thus quoting folk songs and styles from his parents’ homelands, his awareness broadened in reaction to the increasing social and political unrest in the USA and around the world in 2017, particularly in relation to immigration. Consequently, “Home” comments more broadly on those globally displaced by hardship and uncertainty. This narrative is nearly entirely communicated by the setting of a single word: “Home.” Its meaning is continually recontextualized by the voice and orchestra, constituting a complexity of emotional monologue.

Vocalise Image
Orchestra JH WEB