Young Ones Records

Nadia Anjuman (1980-2005) was an Afghan poet writing during a period of turmoil. In 1995, when the Taliban captured Herat, her birthplace, women's liberties were drastically reduced. A gifted student, Nadia faced a future with no hope of education. With other women she attended an underground educational circle called the Golden Needle Sewing School. Meeting under the guise of learning how to sew, the meetings were in fact discussions on literature with Herat professors. The project was dangerous: If caught, the punishment could be imprisonment, torture or hanging. Nadia was 21 when the Taliban was ousted. While earning her degree in literature she published her first book of poetry. She married into a family who believed that, since she was a woman, writing brought disgrace on their reputation. Yet she continued to write. At the age of 25 she was beaten to death by her husband. The five poems I chose are wide-ranging and cover extremes of emotion: from love; to delight in being a poet; to despair at her lack of freedom; and even contemplation of suicide. The opening poem Turmoil, is an astonishing volte face, starting with a song of love for the solitude and beauty of the night, then a yearning to be free of earth's constraints and to be united with God. It concludes with a passionate plea for the power of her own poetry to save her. The music starts hesitantly, unsure - the motif seems afraid to go any further, although it will become the unifying motif of the whole song. The angular outbursts give way to softer, more lyrical vocal and string lines as spring is evoked, with a solo viola emerging from the group and connecting the singer with the songs she once sang. The music surges at her hope to "leave this solitude and sing with joy". At full intensity, surrounded by shimmering strings, the soprano affirms the poet's determination to cry out her truth. c Richard Blackford
Nadia Anjuman (1980-2005) was an Afghan poet writing during a period of turmoil. In 1995, when the Taliban captured Herat, her birthplace, women's liberties were drastically reduced. A gifted student, Nadia faced a future with no hope of education. With other women she attended an underground educational circle called the Golden Needle Sewing School. Meeting under the guise of learning how to sew, the meetings were in fact discussions on literature with Herat professors. The project was dangerous: If caught, the punishment could be imprisonment, torture or hanging. Nadia was 21 when the Taliban was ousted. While earning her degree in literature she published her first book of poetry. She married into a family who believed that, since she was a woman, writing brought disgrace on their reputation. Yet she continued to write. At the age of 25 she was beaten to death by her husband. The five poems I chose are wide-ranging and cover extremes of emotion: from love; to delight in being a poet; to despair at her lack of freedom; and even contemplation of suicide. The opening poem Turmoil, is an astonishing volte face, starting with a song of love for the solitude and beauty of the night, then a yearning to be free of earth's constraints and to be united with God. It concludes with a passionate plea for the power of her own poetry to save her. The music starts hesitantly, unsure - the motif seems afraid to go any further, although it will become the unifying motif of the whole song. The angular outbursts give way to softer, more lyrical vocal and string lines as spring is evoked, with a solo viola emerging from the group and connecting the singer with the songs she once sang. The music surges at her hope to "leave this solitude and sing with joy". At full intensity, surrounded by shimmering strings, the soprano affirms the poet's determination to cry out her truth. c Richard Blackford
710357644429
Songs Of Nadia Anjuman
Artist: Blackford / Sinfonia / Watts
Format: CD
New: In Stock $9.99
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Nadia Anjuman (1980-2005) was an Afghan poet writing during a period of turmoil. In 1995, when the Taliban captured Herat, her birthplace, women's liberties were drastically reduced. A gifted student, Nadia faced a future with no hope of education. With other women she attended an underground educational circle called the Golden Needle Sewing School. Meeting under the guise of learning how to sew, the meetings were in fact discussions on literature with Herat professors. The project was dangerous: If caught, the punishment could be imprisonment, torture or hanging. Nadia was 21 when the Taliban was ousted. While earning her degree in literature she published her first book of poetry. She married into a family who believed that, since she was a woman, writing brought disgrace on their reputation. Yet she continued to write. At the age of 25 she was beaten to death by her husband. The five poems I chose are wide-ranging and cover extremes of emotion: from love; to delight in being a poet; to despair at her lack of freedom; and even contemplation of suicide. The opening poem Turmoil, is an astonishing volte face, starting with a song of love for the solitude and beauty of the night, then a yearning to be free of earth's constraints and to be united with God. It concludes with a passionate plea for the power of her own poetry to save her. The music starts hesitantly, unsure - the motif seems afraid to go any further, although it will become the unifying motif of the whole song. The angular outbursts give way to softer, more lyrical vocal and string lines as spring is evoked, with a solo viola emerging from the group and connecting the singer with the songs she once sang. The music surges at her hope to "leave this solitude and sing with joy". At full intensity, surrounded by shimmering strings, the soprano affirms the poet's determination to cry out her truth. c Richard Blackford
        
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