But, Ma (2016)

for soprano and piano
text by Sajia Sultana
written for Art Song Lab 2016

The 6th instalment of Art Song Lab was a collaboration with Vancouver's Queer Arts Festival. Just weeks after the shootings in Orlando, it became evident during the week just how pertinent some of the pieces were to the queer community, especially those queer people of colour involved.

The text I worked with was by Sajia Sultana, exploring the process of coming out to Indian parents. While Canada is regarded as progressive country, queer people of colour often fear the loss of culture and community in addition to family concerns that are universal in the coming-out process.

One of the experiences Sajia and I shared was a sense of not being really heard within certain family dynamics, and so, miscommunication became a starting point for our collaboration.