LIVE with Little Amal
A Message From Far Away is produced by Remote Theater Project in collaboration with The Walk, produced by Good Chance, Stephen Daldry, David Lan and Tracey Seaward in association with Handspring Puppet Company.
The 3-part event culminates at Ocean Gateway for “Live with Little Amal” - an interactive performance via video-feed with Little Amal, the 9 year old girl represented by a giant puppet, walking from Turkey to the UK, directed and produced by Alexandra Aron.
Teenage immigrants and refugees met regularly with Mudar AlHaggi, a Syrian playwright, himself a refugee and a featured artist of The Walk, to craft letters to Amal. Their words form the basis of this performance enhanced by the participation of Kinan Azmeh, also a Syrian artist from The Walk. They are joined by the Pihcintu Girls Chorus, Kinan’s City Band, and musicians from the Portland Symphony Orchestra.
Kinan Azmeh’s CityBand
Kinan Azmeh, Clarinet
Kyle Sanna, Guitar
Josh Meyers, Double bass
Shane Shanahan, Percussion
Sarah Atwood, violin
Allyson Mical, violin
Kimberly Lehmann, viola
Dave Paschke, cello
Brian Thacker, bass
The Pihcintu Multinational Immigrant and Refugee Girls Chorus
Directed by Con Fullham
Directed and Produced by Alexandra Aron
Associate Producer: Will Blumberg
Video Design: Alex Koch
Production Manager: Jenn London
Sound Engineer: Shaughn Flynn
Video Engineer: Seifallah Salotto-Cristobal
Bottles designed and built by Frances Hildreth
1. Song For Amal - written by members of the Pihcintu Multinational Immigrant and Refugee Girls Chorus
2. Wedding Song - written by Kinan Azmeh, performed by Kinan Azmeh's CityBand
3. Suit for Improviser and String Quintet - performed by Kinan Azmeh and musicians of the Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO Quintet)
4. Somewhere - written by Con Fullham, performed by the Pihcintu Multinational Immigrant and Refugee Girls Chorus and the PSO Quintet
5. Lamma Badaa Yatathanna (folksong) - performed by the Pihcintu Multinational Immigrant and Refugee Girls Chorus with Kinan Azmeh's CityBand and the PSO Quintet, solo performed by Cinderella Elbatanoni
6. This Little Light of Mine - performed by the Pihcintu Multinational Immigrant and Refugee Girls Chorus
Cinderella Elbatanoni is going into her freshman year at University of Southern Maine double majoring in mass-communication and business. She is excited to get Amal's voice out to the world.
Debora - Debora is 16 years old and started in 9th grade at INA in Texas. She continues here at Deering High School and the new year of school will be in 10th grade.
Fatimah Lamloom is a senior at Casco Bay High School, and reaches out to her community in hopes of spreading awareness of the refugee crisis. She herself refuged from Iraq and finds herself loving poetry and tiramisu.
Joyce is 14 years old and is starting 9th grade at Portland High School next year. Joyce is so excited to be involved with this performance because it’s really interesting about how Amal is going to a very small Village and learning about their culture and music and lifestyle and it was really fun writing a letter to her!
Lexiane is 14 years old and is starting 9th grade at Westbrook High School next year. Lexiane is so excited to be involved with this performance because she’s been in her shoes.
The Pihcintu Multinational Immigrant and Refugee Girls Chorus
Con Fullam - Con Fullam is a 5 time Emmy nominated television producer and content creator as well as a multi-award winning music composer, producer and recording artist.
Pihcintu is a multinational immigrant and refugee girl’s chorus that has been performing since 2006 during which time they have performed for over 300,000 live and hundreds of millions via broadcast and internet media including the Today Show, National Public Radio, Voice of America, Al Jazeera, and You Tube. They have appeared at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC, The National Cathedral, and the United Nations to name but a few of the venues. Over the course of time over 300 girls representing 40 countries have passed through the chorus with 100% high school graduation and 85% post- secondary education.
Current singers include:
Rita, Prise, Brenda, Yoselin, Ruby, Tania, Chrisianne, Emily, Bridgette, Kathy, Veronica, Maravilha, Shy, Paula, Danielle, Andrea, Natalia, Boomba, Kaylee, Exaucee, Elsie, Jane, Achen, Janelle, Lexianne, Elizabeth, Ceira, and Sophie.
Kinan Azmeh's CityBand
Formed in 2006 in New York City, the Kinan Azmeh CityBand immediately gained recognition for their virtuosic and high energy performance, receiving praise from critics and audiences alike. With this New York ensemble, Azmeh strives to reach a balance between classical music, jazz, and the music of his homeland, Syria, creating music that is inspired by many traditions without being limited by any of these traditions. Azmeh's expressive clarinet meets Kyle Sanna’s rustic guitar, soaring at times over the dynamic and volatile backdrop of Shane Shanahan’s percussion and Josh Myers’ double bass. Each band member has come from varied backgrounds to add their personal flair to this ensemble, resulting in a thoroughly exciting and rewarding listening experience. The band has toured the US,Canada, Taiwan France, England, Germany, Holland, Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey, with notable performances at the Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, Boston Celebrity Series, Berlin's Boulez Saal, Cologne philharmonie among others.
KINAN AZMEH - Hailed as a “virtuoso, intensely soulful" by the New York Times and "spellbinding" by the New Yorker. Syrian-born, Brooklyn-based genre-bending composer and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh has been touring the globe with great acclaim as a soloist, composer and improviser. He has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim, John McLaughlin, Aynur and Djivan Gasparian, among others. He leads his own bands Hewar and the Kinan Azmeh CityBand. He is a Silkroad ensemble artist with whom he won a Grammy in 2016. His recent orchestral album Uneven Sky with the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra Berlin has won Germany’s OpusKlassik Award in 2019. Recent commissions include works for the Seattle Symphony, the New York Philharmonic and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School, the Damascus High Institute of Music, and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering, Kinan holds a doctorate in music from the City University of New York. http://www.kinanazmeh.com
Remote Theater Project
The Remote Theater Project (RTP) is dedicated to creating new work with artists who are geopolitically isolated or marginalized. RTP brings international artists to the U.S. to develop new work, tour internationally and have their voices heard outside the confines of their region. remotetheaterproject.com
A MESSAGE FROM FAR AWAY has included:
A performance by Kinan Azmeh’s CityBand presented by Portland Ovations on August 4th
A MESSAGE FROM FAR AWAY IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM:
Guy Lancaster, Christa Lancaster
Still Point Fund
Our Corporate Sponsors
With support from
And our incredible Kickstarter supporters:
Abi Spencer, Adam Aron, Alexandra Laurita, Ann Casady, Anya Epstein, Arthur Halpern, Barbara McAdams, Barbara Peisner, Carmen Rivera, Carol Holyoke, Carol Wishcamper, Catherine Coray, Charles Melcher, Charlotte Fullam, Chris Zurn, Chris C Cerami, Colby Halloran, Community, Shellfish Co., Doris Lowy, Dan Futterman, Dana Sawyer, Doug Bost, Elizabeth Nestor, Elizabeth Pope, Elizabeth Whitman, Ellen Dennis, ExcitedFliermp, Frances, Holly Noury, Isabelle Gaston, Jenny Scheu, Jessica Bauman, John Coleman, John Ryan, Joyce, Karen Smetana, Kate Chappell, Kate Howard, Kathleen Lenihan Katie Pearl, Kerem Durdag, Leigh L., Lin Lisberger, Lisa Smith, Lizzie Olesker, Lorraine Weinberg, Lucy Rainsford Margot Milliken, Maria Eder, Marsha Gildin, Martha Haakmat, Mary Allen Lindemann, Robin McGrew, Meg B Payson, Mike Shapiro and Peggy Stafford, Molly Tobias, Onyx, Oona Metz, Pablo Aslan, Paige Evans, Paul Ratliff, Peggy Stafford, Phyllis Reames, Prescott Woodruff, Rachel Margolis, Rebecca Brown Adelman, Reza Jalali, Roberta Levitow, Saco River Theatre, Sarah Heard, Sarah Russell, Sheryl, Stephanie Heatley, Susan Bernfield, Susan Schraft, Susan Schwartz, Terry Marsh, Terry Weber, The Creative Fund by BackerKit, Troy Moon, Kathy Updegrove, Victoria, Bone Bakker, Viola Sheehan, Walter Lautenbach
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Anja Hanson and Portland Adult Education
Clare Norton and the team at the City of Portland’s Public Assembly Facilities
Jack Murray and OceanAVL
Sean Noe and The Root Cellar
Shaughn Flynn and Headlight AV
Our Community Partners
Remote Theater Project Fund
for Refugee Artists
To support the refugee community, donate to a local fund for Refugee and Immigrant Artists, sponsored by the Remote Theater Project, in collaboration with Creative Portland. The purpose of the fund is for the incubation and development of artistic expression, services and initiatives by local Greater Portland immigrant artists, actors, writers, performing artists and musicians.
All donations received are tax-deductible and will be accepted and applied to the fund, activating a sub-granting and fund disbursement. The governance of the fund will be managed by Creative Portland, a 501c3, and in cooperation with a review committee represented by Creative Portland and Remote Theater Project, in response to a rolling application. Donations can be made HERE