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Women’s Voices of Afghanistan Rise in Gemma Peacocke’s Song Cycle

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The composer Gemma Peacocke.

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Susanna Hancock

During her travels in Afghanistan, the journalist and poet Eliza Griswold collected dozens of landays, a form of poetry recited by women at village feasts and in refugee camps, as well as on clandestine poetry phone-ins.

The composer Gemma Peacocke has taken these couplets, so poignant and visceral in their economy of form, as inspiration for “Waves + Lines,” a song cycle for soprano, chamber ensemble and electronics. On Thursday, June 22, the soprano Eliza Bagg performs them at Roulette in a multimedia performance directed by Benita de Wit that highlights the longings, desires and shrewdness of women whose voices refuse to be stifled. (roulette.org)

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