“Fragments” for SATB choir and string quartet is an attempt at exploring the subconscious of a displaced person. This 19-minute composition delves into the anxieties, memories, and the dream world of a refugee, and searches for meaning, hope and light in spite of harrowing circumstances. As an immigrant myself, I am deeply interested in the transformation of our sense of self when we are physically – and sometimes forcibly – removed from our home, and how remnants of our being stay behind, perhaps forever.

Nika Khanjani, the poet for this work, interviewed several refugees from different walks of life and geographies, and crafted their stories and testimonial into a powerful poetic expression. The text is full of poignant symbolism that deal with identity, memory and perseverance. Many key and climactic moments in the text come directly from quotes taken in the interviews.

This piece is a nod to all those who have to leave their home in search of hope; May it bring perspective, understanding, and compassion to all who experience it.