2018

The Toys they Carried 

(2018)

Pianist/Composer: Hector Docx

This piece was composed directly after reading the moving article in the New York Times: 

"The Toys They Carried: Syrian Children Under Siege" - Megan Specia and Hwaida Saad (March 2, 2018 - The New York Times)

It is inspired by the stories of, Maya, Ahmed, and Yasmina

*For best audio experience, listen with headphones*

 

The piece aims to present the warped sounds of war as a child may perceive them; the drone of the planes, the machinery, the explosions. However amidst all of the chaos sounds the innocent and sorrowful song of the children. The Kalimba is representative of the child song and itself is often given to children as a musical toy.

Pianist/Composer: Hector Docx

Viola: Mari Viluksela

This work for Viola and Piano was inspired by an article I read in the New Yorker about Hannah Upp, a young woman who dissapeared whilst experiencing a dissociative fugue state. A link to the article by Rachel Aviv is below:

 

"How a Young Woman Lost Her Identitiy" -

Rachel Aviv (April 2nd, 2018 Issue, New Yorker. )

An understanding of the title of this piece is crucial as it informs the whole concept of the work.

Dissociative Fugue (formerly called psychogenic fugue) is a psychological state in which a person loses awareness of their identity, other important autobiographical information and also engages in some form of unexpected travel. Dissociative fugue is a subtype of dissociative amnesia, but is more commonly found in people who experience dissociative identity disorder. Dissociation is generally thought of as a defence against trauma that helps people disconnect from extreme psychological distress. The themes of autobiography and loss of identity are central to the piece. What is the identity of a viola or a piano and what would it sound like to lose that identity? The piece is constructed so that the music moves towards a situation of such stress, that the identity of each instrument breaks and they become completely disparate from one another. It goes against the grain of what sounds we expect to hear from each instrument. The last moments are a collection of fragments which have no correlation to each other, they simply hang in the air, disconnected to any sense of where they have come from.

Musicians:

Soprano: Johanna Will

Soprano: Marie Rihane

Oboe: Freya Obijon

Piano: Marta Leiva

Cello: Tristan Köster

Viola: Mari Viluksela

Wood Block: Seonghyun Jo

Composer/Conductor: Hector Docx

For more Information on this piece and to hear recordings of my research trip in China, visit this page: The China Project