Traditions Under Pressure



Du Yun + Oslo Sinfonietta.

Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival


September 19th 2020

8:00 PM

Kulturkirken Jakob, Oslo




Buckle up for an eclectic, multicultural journey of three concerts touching down in New York, China, Pakistan and the refugee route from Syria to Europe.

Traditions Under Pressure Du Yun & Oslo Sinfonietta / OK Miss / Ali Sethi


The evening is a musical itinerary in three parts with brief intervals for refreshments in between.

19.00 Pre-concert panel: Traditions Under Pressure Du Yun, Ali Sethi and Ane Roggen in conversation with Rob Young (moderator) The journeys now taken by millions of migrants force societies and local traditions to blend, accommodate and integrate. As societies change, so does their music, in cultural shifts that are both enriching and pressurising. This panel discussion will explore the benefits and challenges of this ongoing process. 


20.00 Du Yun: Where We Lost Our Shadows (2019) 21.00 Du Yun + OK Miss  22.00 Ali Sethi Trio



Concert 1: Du Yun: Where We Lost Our Shadows (2019) Sofia Jernberg – mezzo soprano Ali Sethi – male voice Shayna Dunkelman – percussion Christian Eggen – conductor Khaled Jarrar – film Oslo Sinfonietta

An urgent new work by New York based Pulitzer Prize winner and Chinese composer Du Yun investigates the plight of refugees, in myth, history and the violent present. Where We Lost Our Shadows is a powerful and timely new work for orchestra, including disturbing film sequences of a Syrian family crossing the Aegean Sea, shot by Khaled Jarrar, a Palestinian visual artist based in Ramallah. His footage shows just the most recent example of human migration that Yun’s composition explores, as well as expanding into a vision of human movement as a perpetual factor in world history.

Du Yun’s emotive music itself follows the migration of a musical language – devotional qawwali music that travelled from medieval Muslim India to Central Asia, Bengal, and South Asia – and incorporates text by the Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan. Together with Oslo Sinfonietta, Sofia Jernberg (Swedish jazz/experimental singer), Ali Sethi (Pakistani vocal star) and New York percussionst Shayna Dunkelman perform this urgent and important musical testament that shifts between political reality and allegorical representations of global exodus. Produced in collaboration with Oslo Sinfonietta.

Concert 2: Du Yun + OK Miss Du Yun – vocal/piano  Aakash Mittal – winds Nich Olas Farrell – guitar/electronics Grey McMurray – guitar Shayna Dunkleman – drums  

For the second part of the concert, Du Yun enters her ‘indie pop diva’ mode as leader of OK Miss. She founded this experimental band as both a rock band and chamber ensemble, and many points in-between. The group has performed at museums, concert halls, theatres, and for silent films allover the world.

Concert 3: Ali Sethi Trio Ali Sethi – vocal Grey McMurray – guitar Shayna Dunkelman – drums

Ali Sethi is a successful vocal star and author from Pakistan who, as well as having various hit singles, appeared in the 2013 film The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Here he demonstrates his acclaimed, soaring voice – blending elements of Pakistani classical music and global pop – in a solo set for the first time in Norway, accompanied by two members of OK Miss.

* Where We Lost our Shadows is Co-commissioned by American Composers Orchestra, Southbank Centre, Carnegie Hall, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Cal Performances - University of California, Berkeley. Part of the score was written during a residency at the C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía