Classical music
Contemporary Classical

Songs from the Road

Part of SoundState

Crossing musical genres and art forms, Aurora Orchestra explores stories of migration across centuries and continents.

Featuring Sam Amidon, Nico Muhly, Du Yun and Ali Sethi – the most creative voices in folk, contemporary classical and South Asian music today – the focal point in this Orchestral Theatre concert is the world premiere of Where We Lost Our Shadows, a collaborative work for orchestra, video, vocals and percussion by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun and Palestinian video artist Khaled Jarrar.

Responding to migration today, the multimedia piece interweaves Du Yun’s striking musical soundscape with a set of ragas, text from Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan, and footage of Jarrar’s journey with a group of refugees from Syria to Europe. Where We Lost Our Shadows brings together an exceptional set of international musicians, featuring critically acclaimed Pakistani singer Ali Sethi, former drummer of the experimental rock band Xiu Xiu Shayna Dunkelman, and past BBC Generation Artist mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston.

Complementing this new work is the journey of the folk ballad ‘Two Sisters’ from 16th-century Norway to modern-day New York City. Folk artist Sam Amidon and composer/performer Nico Muhly join Aurora to perform a series of versions, including Amidon’s much-loved ‘Saro’ (Bedroom Community) and Muhly’s hypnotic rendition ‘The Only Tune’. This story of a ballad’s transformation is told alongside specially-commissioned animations by Ola Szmida and Mahler’s own arresting ‘song from the road’, the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer).

Khaled Jarrar’s film includes documentary footage of his journey with a group of refugees from Syria to Europe, including interviews with adults and children.

Part of The Orchestral Theatre: The Claus Moser Series at Southbank Centre


Aurora Orchestra
Nicholas Collon conductor
Sam Amidon voice, guitar
Nico Muhly piano
Ali Sethi voice
Jennifer Johnston mezzo-soprano
Shayna Dunkelman percussion
Khaled Jarrar film


Traditional: The Miller and the King's Daughter arr. Farringdon
Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen arr. Iain Farrington for chamber orchestra
Traditional: The Swan Swims arr. Farringdon
Sam Amidon: Saro arr. Nico Muhly
Nico Muhly: The Only Tune
-: Solo vocal performance
Du Yun: (with Khaled Jarrar): Where We Lost Our Shadows (World premiere)

Dates & times

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Queen Elizabeth Hall


£10 - £35
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)
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