Of Laughter and Forgetting

for piano and orchestra

Bushra El-Turk

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for piano and orchestra

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Composer Bushra El-Turk
Year of Composition 2012
Duration ca.9'
Forces picc, fl, 2ob, 2cl, bn, cbn, 4hn, tpt, 2tbn, btbn, tba, timp, 2perc, pf, quanon, derbakki/nai, strings
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-bet1olaf1


‘Of Laughter and Forgetting’ is a monodrama in one act for piano featuring Arabic instruments and orchestra. It portrays a Levantine woman’s internal conflict – her yearnings, joys and laments, from the memories of her past to her struggle with the mess of cultural contradictions she embodies and her feelings of alterity. The piece starts with an Eastern/Western drum dual. This then develops into a kaleidoscopic whirl of theatrical wit and nostalgic Levantine touches over contemporary Western harmonic punches and tides, toying with a fragment or two from a popular Lebanese song. I am grateful to Majd Madanat, the Jordanian theatre director, who has written words based on the music. The piece was initially commissioned by the Peace and Prosperity Trust, a UK-based Charity, and received its World Premiere at London’s Cadogan Hall by the pianist Tala Tutunji and the Orion Orchestra, conducted by Toby Purser.

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