TO DREAM OF JASMINES, created in collaboration with University of Houston composer Victor Rangel, is an orchestral and visual interpretation of the Syria that we have discovered through conversations with Syrian refugee Dayana Halawo and her family, the Syria that we have seen through the lens of contemporary media and news, and the relationship between the two.
In weaving audio interview segments, dream-like visuals, news clips, and documentary-style footage through an orchestral score that follows the journey of a woman trying to save her family, we hope to work through what it means to be uprooted and displaced, while still pushing forward into a new life. The work stands as a reminder that the present-day narrative of a war-torn Syria exists within a history extending far beyond us in every direction, inextricable from the Syria that was—and still is—colloquially known as the land of jasmine flowers.
This project is part of the Houston Symphony's "Resilient Sounds" program, working in association with Interfaith Ministries. Below is a selection of film stills from the piece.