There is an Arabic proverb that says, 'The borrowed dress doesn't keep one warm, and if it does, it doesn't last for long.' This piece is based on a film score that I composed for a feature length documentary by the same name. The Borrowed Dress, directed by Leen Alfaisal, is a film that follows a Syrian family that has been scattered across Europe because of the war. One of the protagonists, a grandmother named Susu, insists on going back to the warmth of her house in Damascus despite the fact that all her children are now in diaspora. She uses the aforementioned proverb as her reasoning behind wanting to be home. This is not to be ungrateful to countries that are opening their doors for those in need of a safe haven, but rather a nostalgic feeling that no one can deny, no matter how happy they are living elsewhere. The piece is a long sigh, a longing for the familiar, and a plea for things to go back to the way they were. On a personal level, the piece transcends the issue of being away from home, and touches upon losing family members and loved ones; those who are essentially our 'home'. It is a cry for someone I love who is slowly drifting away into the unknown, as I stand there, helpless, wondering what borrowed dress will keep me warm once they're gone.
The Borrowed Dress will have its World Premire on October 3rd, 2017. I'm so honoured to have the one and only Manfred Leuchter premiere it on his accordion with the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra. I also want to thank the wonderful Kevork Mourad for his art which was featured on the poster and score cover of my piece.