Halfway into our 2019 US tour the theme seems to be snow. The sunny view from my hotel in Boulder, Colorado this morning is of gorgeous snow-covered hills. The view on our first tour day was a bit less welcome — the snowstorm in Toronto stayed with us for almost all of our drive to State College, Pennsylvania, and added a couple of hours to the already long trip.
To connect the inconceivable struggle and heartbreak of the Syrian refugee crisis with something as mundane as a cup of coffee may seem like an impossible task. Tafelmusik, Canada’s award-winning baroque orchestra, however, find themselves drawing that bizarre parallel in their new show opening in Toronto on Thursday.
"you have to understand, no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land."
That line, full of anguish, is from the poem "Home" by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, who became London's first Young Poet Laureate. The full poem (copied below) is used in Tafelmusik's upcoming concert Safe Haven, an exploration in music, words, and images of the influence of refugee populations on the culture of their adopted countries.