To Dream of Jasmines (2019/2020)

for Orchestra and Film

Written for the Houston Symphony Resilient Sounds project, June 2019

Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Music Director; Jimmy López, Composer-in-Residence

Film by Erica Cheung

Premiered on June 11, 2019 in White Oak Music Hall in Houston, TX,

by the Houston Symphony conducted by Christopher Rountree

Duration: ca. 12 minutes

Program Notes

To Dream of Jasmines is an orchestral and visual interpretation of the Syria that we have discovered through conversations with Syrian refugee Dayana Halawo and her family, the Syria that we have seen through the lens of contemporary media and news, and the relationship between the two. In weaving audio interview segments, dream-like visuals, news clips, and documentary-style footage through an orchestral score that follows the journey of a woman trying to save her family, we hope to work through what it means to be uprooted and displaced, while still pushing forward into a new life. The work stands as a reminder that the present-day narrative of a war-torn Syria exists within a history extending far beyond us in every direction, inextricable from the Syria that was—and still is—colloquially known as the land of jasmine flowers.

– Erica Cheung and Victor Rangel

 

Instrumentation

Full Orchestra Version (2020)

3(pic)3(ca)3(bcl)3(cbn) / 4331 / timp.2perc / hp.cel / str

Perc. 1: Glockenspiel, Toms (low, mid, high), Congas (low, high), Sus. Cymbal, Brake Drum, Tam-tam, Spring Coil, and Anvil 

Perc. 2: Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Vibraphone, Crotales)

Chamber Orchestra Version (2019)

1111 / 2100 / timp.2perc / hp.cel / str

Perc. 1: Glockenspiel, Toms (low, mid, high), Congas (low, high), Sus. Cymbal, Brake Drum, Tam-tam, Spring Coil, and Anvil.

Perc. 2: Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Vibraphone, Crotales)

 

Media and Previews

 

Background artwork by David Brooke Martin