Thumbed on a phone, smuggled out in thousands of text messages. The near impossibility of its existence. On Nauru and Manus Island, they live in a zoo of cruelty.
No Friend but the Mountains, Behrouz Boochani's multi-award winning book which chronicles the perilous journeys of asylum seekers and their forced detention on Manus Island, is the inspiration for this Symphonic Song Cycle by prolific Australian composer, Luke Styles.
Boochani, a Kurdish-Iranian journalist, writer and film-maker, penned his book in secret in Farsi on a mobile phone as a series of hundreds of text messages. He opened up the hidden world of detention, shone a light on the conditions endured by detainees on Manus and exposed a brutal system ostensibly designed to deter other asylum seekers while breaking those caught in it.
To open the event, Behrouz Boochani will appear in conversation via video reflecting on this new adaptation of his story.
Rick Prakhoff – conductor
Adrian Tamburini – bass-baritone
Wilma Smith – guest concertmaster
Susan Pierotti – concertmaster
Luke Styles – composer
Behrouz Boochani – librettist
Omid Tofighian – translator and collaborator
Boochani – Video Interview with Rafael Epstein
Styles, L – No Friend But the Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle
"Music is a way of reclaiming time"
SBS News features No Friend but the Mountains: a Symphonic Song Cycle
How Behrouz Boochani’s award-winning book on Manus detention was adapted to music
Behrouz Boochani’s life is being told in song, but he’s not allowed to hear it
3RRR SmartArts interview with Richard Watts
Raf Epstein interviews Behrouz Boochani
First Zelman Symphony Orchestra rehearsal with Adrian Tamburini