Classical music
Contemporary Classical

Songs from the Road

Part of SoundState

The wayfarer, the migrant, the refugee: Aurora Orchestra embarks on a journey through time and space in the company of those who walk the face of the earth.

Roaming across musical genres and art forms, the latest instalment in Aurora’s groundbreaking Orchestral Theatre series features American folk artist Sam Amidon, Pakistani singer Ali Sethi, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston, percussionist Shayna Dunkelman and Palestinian filmmaker Khaled Jarrar.

Staged as part of Southbank Centre’s SoundState festival, the programme is co-curated with the Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Du Yun, whose eclectic voice is one of the most distinctive and exciting in today’s musical landscape.

Taking centre stage is the world premiere of Where We Lost Our Shadows, a collaborative work by Du Yun and Khaled Jarrar commissioned by Southbank Centre and Carnegie Hall. Combining traditional South Asian raga music with text from Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan, the piece features footage from Jarrar’s journey in the company of a Palestinian-Syrian refugee family from Syria to Germany.

The first half of the concert follows migrations of a different kind: in the company of Sam Amidon we trace the journey of a folk ballad across continents and centuries from 16th-century Norway to modern-day New York City in the form of Nico Muhly’s The Only Tune.

The journey is enriched by new animations from Ola Szmida and completed by Iain Farrington’s dazzling chamber orchestra arrangement of Mahler’s own 'song from the road' – the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen – sung here by Jennifer Johnston.


Aurora Orchestra
Nicholas Collon conductor
Sam Amidon voice, guitar
Jennifer Johnston mezzo-soprano
Ali Sethi voice
Shayna Dunkelman percussion
Khaled Jarrar film


Traditional: Two Sisters
Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen arr. Iain Farrington for chamber orchestra
Nico Muhly: Saro; The Only Tune
Du Yun: (with Khaled Jarrar): Where We Lost Our Shadows (World premiere)

Dates & times

20 Jan 2019
Approximate run time: 120 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Queen Elizabeth Hall


£10 - £35
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)
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Related events
Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer at 3.15pm – Artists' Bar with Du Yun and Susanna Eastburn.
Delve deeper into the music at this informal Q&A with our SoundState featured artist.