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Hub of the Musiverse 2: Journeys and Commentaries

New Music and the Immigrant Experience: Journeys and Commentaries


In 2018, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble presented “Hub of the Musiverse,” an intricately produced concert which featured music of immigrant composers from seven different countries who have settled in the East Coast region to study, work, and pursue their artistic endeavors. That project showcased 2 commissioned pieces. Next season, during Fall 2020, we plan to present “Hub of the Musiverse 2: Journeys and Commentaries,” which will feature the midsize ensemble works of an additional seven immigrant composers. In these works, the composers draw inspiration from immigration stories – their own personal journeys, or commentaries of contemporary political issues. The concert will be preceded by a panel discussion during which composers discuss how their experiences in their home countries and the U.S. inform their creative processes. We plan on performing the works of José Martínez (Colombia), Layale Chaker (Lebanon), Niloufar Nourbakhsh (Iran), and others.

Martínez’s music incorporates a wide range of influences from Colombian folk tunes to contemporary composition techniques, while borrowing from Latin music, heavy metal, and audio sampling techniques. His works range from solo pieces with electronics to orchestral works, passing through chamber ensembles, electroacoustic pieces, and collaborations with dancers and video. His main musical interest is the idiosyncratic synthesis of timbral examination and manipulation, Latin American vernacular music, sociopolitics, and technology. In his chamber work “Refused,” Martínez draws text from an actual letter he received from the Government of Canada, who denied his visiting visa application multiple times.

Building upon themes of systemic denial in immigration, Nourbakhsh’s piece, “An Aria for the Executive Order,” reacts to President Donald J. Trump’s Travel Ban Executive Order 13769. Nourbakhsh is a luminary in the contemporary classical scene. In addition to being recognized for her artistry as a composer and pianist, she champions Iranian and women artists, founding the Iranian Female Composers Association in 2017.

Additionally, Dinosaur Annex will commission a new work by violinist-composer Layale Chaker, who draws inspiration from a variety of musical and cultural influences that shape her artistic language. In Chaker’s debut album with Sarafand, “Inner Rhyme,” she compositionally “capture[s] the shape and essence of epic testimonials on life, death, war, and love that make the heart of Arabic poetry.”

In a commitment to equity and accessibility, complimentary tickets will be provided to members of Project Literacy, a community-based English language education program in Watertown, MA for immigrants and refugees.

Start and End Dates



Watertown, Massachusetts

Project Created By

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble is a leading presenter of chamber music of our time. Based in the culturally vibrant city of Boston, the ensemble is dedicated to bringing cutting-edge works from around the globe to the public through live performing, commissioning, and recording. Founded in 1975, the group has given hundreds of premieres. Their innovative…

In Collaboration With

Sarasota, Florida
Brooklyn, New York


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