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Sussex composers selected for world music festival
A musical work by a University of Sussex composer will be performed this month in Belgium at a major world exhibition of new music.
The International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) has selected A Buried Flame by Dr Ed Hughes, Senior Lecturer in Music at Sussex, for performance at its World Music Days in Ghent on 18 November.
The Aquarius Chamber Choir, conducted by Marc de Smet, will sing A Buried Flame, which sets poems by current and former detainees at Guantanamo Bay from the 2007 collection Poems from Guantanamo.
Dr Hughes says: “I was struck by the modernity of these poems and their general concern with physical incarceration and oppression rather than with Islam.
“At the same time suffering, oppression and imprisonment has unfortunately been a constant mark of human experience throughout the ages, as seen in Psalm 69, to take an example from Christian tradition.
“The kernel of this composition is a recognition, prompted by this collection of poems, that the ‘war on terror’ has undoubtedly resulted in detention without trial and further injustices.
“The music exists as a response to the poetry while including the notion that any hope for the future must reside in religions and political cultures talking to one another, and seeking reconciliation.”
The 19-minute piece was first performed at Wells Cathedral in Somerset on Good Friday 2010.
The composition by Dr Hughes is one of five British works selected by the International Jury of the ISCM for its World Music Days 2012. Sringara Chaconne, a piece for ensemble by Jonathan Harvey, who was Professor of Music at Sussex from 1977-93, also features on the programme.
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