Bombs of Beirut
for string quartet, prerecorded backing track, and live processing(2014)
|Movements||I. Before the War|
II. The War
III. After the War
|Commission||Commissioned for the Kronos Quartet as part of Kronos: Under 30 Project / #5 by Hancher at the University of Iowa, Syracuse University, the Board of Directors of the Kronos Performing Arts Association, and individual backers of the Kronos: Under 30 Project / #5 Kickstarter campaign. Additional support was provided by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program at Montalvo Arts Center.|
|Premiere||February 6, 2014, Z Space, San Francisco, CA; Kronos Quartet|
|Instrumentation||2 violins, viola, cello, and live processing engineer|
|Technical requirements||See preview pages for amplification, prerecorded backing track, and live processing details.|
Lebanon, once the refuge where my grandparents and great-grandparents sought safety from the Armenian Genocide, became the dangerous home my parents and brother were forced to abandon during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). We often read stories and see images in the news about violent events in the Middle East, but we very rarely get to hear the perspective of an individual who lived through them. Inspired by loved ones who grew up during the Lebanese Civil War, it is my hope that Bombs of Beirut provides a sonic picture of what day-to-day life is like in a turbulent Middle East–– not filtered through the news and media, but through the real words of real people.
The prerecorded backing track includes interviews with family and friends who shared their various experiences living in a time of war; it also presents sound documentation of bombings and attacks on civilians tape-recorded on an apartment balcony between 1976-1978.
– Mary Kouyoumdjian