• Luke Styles
  • No Friend But The Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle (2020)

  • G Schirmer (Australia) Pty Ltd (World)
    • Behrouz Boochani
      • 21st March 2021, Sidney Myer Music Bowl / Melbourne / Australia
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    Programme Note

    No Friend But The Mountains, the multi-award winning novel by Kurdish-Iranian journalist, writer and film-maker Behrouz Boochani, has inspired a new work by prolific Australian composer, Luke Styles. The book chronicles the story of Boochani’s perilous journey as a refugee and his forced detention on Manus Island with other refugees.

    No Friend But The Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle will premiere in Melbourne on 21st March 2021, performed by the Zelman Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Bach Choir, and Bass Baritone soloist Adrian Tamburini. Drawing on Boochani’s powerful poetry and prose to tell this extraordinary story, the song cycle will also explore themes of Australian identity, including incarceration and the search for a safe haven, both recurring aspects of Australia’s story from its convict past to today.

    “Behrouz’s story is the most recent iteration of an important part of Australia’s story,” says Luke Styles. “He was imprisoned on Manus Island, a place of incredible beauty and intense isolation. Australia is itself a beautiful and remote island that was and still is a multifaceted prison that has incarcerated its own people, convicts, migrants and refugees alike, throughout its history.”

    No Friend But The Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle
    Prelude
    I: Under Moonlight
    Interlude I
    II: The Sounds of Small Children
    III: In that moment everything is absurd
    IV: All our Dreams
    V: Joy
    VI: This Rescue
    VII: The Tug Boat Arrives at the Pier
    Interlude II
    VIII: Two Open Entry-Exit Points
    IX: The Prison
    X: First, Out of the Darkness, a Bird
    XI: Life is like an accident
    XII: Chauka is Chanting