Bushra El-Turk has been selected as one of the Composers in Residence at Streetwise Opera, who will work in one of the company’s five regions to create an original response to Britten’s Canticles, with Bushra working in Middlesbrough on a chorus inspired by ‘Abraham and Isaac’. The new choruses will be performed at informal regional Opera Hours in early 2017 and also at Streetwise Opera’s 15th anniversary celebration in London in summer 2017.
‘Collaborating with Streetwise Opera has always been a dream of mine, as I am aware of the great opportunities it provides to make a difference to people who have experienced homelessness. I am excited about working with Streetwise and providing a unique support system, both creatively and pastorally, to help its performers to feel an increase in self-confidence and inclusion. I also feel that the progressive nature of their process will give me a platform to experiment substantially, and will allow me to develop in ways that go beyond music to expand the avenues through which I connect with my audience.’
Starting this month, Bushra is also taking up an Open Space Residency at Aldeburgh Music. She will be using the place on Open Space to develop a collaborative project with poet/playwright/performer/writer Sabrina Mahfouz, choreographer Maria Koripas and soprano Merit Ariane Stephanos which will be based on Nawal Al-Saadawi’s book Woman at Point Zero. Bushra will be using her place on Open Space to work on the Research and Development aspect of her project, aiming to develop a cross-cultural musical language with an emphasis on the vocabulary of movement to become a vivid blend of gesture and music. Where does performing and gesture in music end and it becomes dance? Can we create art that contains seamless boundaries between the art forms? These themes will be explored with a focus on an eclectic ensemble of vocalists and instrumentalists in collaboration with the choreographer Maria Koripas, to experiment with musical and gestural techniques which inform each other resulting in combined notions of cultural fusion in music and movement.
Listen to more of Bushra’s, make sure you get The Panufnik Legacies II CD by the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of François-Xavier Roth. Released in April this year, the album of new works by emerging composers – members of the Panufnik Composers Scheme – features her piece ‘Tmesis’.
Gillian Moore has reviewed the piece for BBC Radio 3 Record Review: ‘Tmesis is really fascinating. It’s kind of deceptive at the start…kind of nervous frantic repeated notes fluttering and fanning outwards into space, but then before we know it we’re into the world of her Lebanese heritage with a great big Arabic song moving through the orchestra and then we’ve got electronic dance like beats and it ends with a beautiful closing section with rocking string music over a drone.’