Indian Opus

Indian Opus (2016) is a work for singer, electronic recordings and piano, inspired by audio recordings taken on a trip to India. It examines my experience of being a stranger in a strange land – the impulse to venture into the unknown, the (sometimes missed) connections as I endeavoured to bridge cultural gaps, and the immense gratitude for those I met along the way.

There are three songs: Impulse, Encounter and Departure.

Impulse

Rahye Ab Aysi jagha Chal kar Jeha’N koi Na Ho,
Humsukhen Koi Na Ho Aur humzaba’N koi Na Ho.

I wish to go and dwell,
In such a place,
Where there’s no one else.
No one to understand my speech,
No one around to talk with,
There, I want to reach.

-Mizra Ghalib

Encounter

I carry my home:
an internal organ of blood and memories.
You can ask me and I’ll describe:
Its ever-changing shape and size.
How it interferes in love, lies in wait to remind me:
of what I can and can never be.
I’ll tell you of the riches, buildings soaring high and poems:
all this I carry inside.
All I ask is to sit with you
To touch and taste your everyday
And with my draughtsman’s fingers
To map the contours of your insides:
A process by which one or both of us is colonised.

– Natalia Kieniewicz

Departure

It seems to me I crossed
a thousand deaths to reach
The pinnacle of this new dawn –
My old name tossed to the winds
By the chariot of time’s rushing speed.
There is no way back;
If you gaze at me from afar,
You will not recognise me.
What I have given you
is yours forever.
Drop by drop I’ll now dispense myself;
The piteous moments drink their fill
as I pour out my heart’s oblation.
O incomparable one!
O wealthy one!
All that I gave you was really your gift to me;
For all that you received, you hold me in debt.
My friend, farewell.

– Rabindranath Tagore

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