Lutheran Arts member, Jocelyn Hagen, announces her evening-length work commissioned by Conspirare, Songs for Muska, will receive its full premiere this March in Austin, Texas, as part of their March Moderns Festival!
This piece is nearly four years in the making, and is inspired by the incredible poetry of the women of Afghanistan. When beginning our brainstorming about what kind of piece she should create for Conspirare, Craig Hella Johnson recommended that she pick up a newly published book called I am the Beggar of the World, which featured English translations of landays (folk couplets ~ an oral tradition and anonymous scrap of song). Hagen was instantly drawn in by the beauty, efficiency, and hard truths packed into these dense statements created by the women of that part of the world. Because of restrictions made by the Taliban, these women weren't allowed to read or write, let alone show ownership of any kind of creative free speech. These landays have traditionally belonged to no single Pashtun woman, and, therefore, belonged to all of them.