Rihab Azar Oud Songs of Longing and Exile
Inspired by Dowland’s melancholic song Flow my tears, and the heartbreaking stories of refugees which are never far from the news, vocal ensemble Stile Antico and Dartington Arts commissioned poet Peter Oswald to create texts for Dowland’s instrumental Lachrimae pavans.
Based on testimonies from today’s refugees and migrants, these new poems about displacement and exile present a contemporary and deeply moving counterpoint to this exquisite music; Dowland was himself no stranger to uncertainty and misfortune during his own, self-imposed exile.
Between the pavans, London-based Syrian musician Rihab Azar intersperses partly-improvised music for oud. The performance ends with a newly-commissioned work for oud and voices by Giles Swayne, providing a fitting climax to a unique and powerful concert experience.