This piece was commissioned by the Miami Children’s Chorus for their concert titled “An Immigrant’s Journey”. It was written in 2017 at a time when DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was being debated in the United States because of a suggested end to the program that granted temporary protection from deportation to nearly 700,000 young people. As an immigrant from Haiti who migrated to the U.S. with my family at 11 years-old, I was deeply affected by the uncertain future the “DREAMers” were facing through no fault of their own.
Since the premiere of the piece in 2018, there have been some gruesome acts against immigrants and refugees, including children being separated from their parents at the U.S. border. My hope is that this piece brings to focus a part of the immigration debate that is often forgotten – the humanity of the refugees fleeing their countries.
Translation of French text:
Refugee, My Brother
I don’t know where you come from
And I don’t know where you are going;
On the road of life I heard your footsteps,
Not too far ahead of me.
Refugee, my brother,
The world is yours
You search for your light buried by hatred;
You speak of your life lost under the rubbles,
All the while escaping death hidden in the shadows.
Refugee, my brother, exiled from Afar,
The world is yours.
We are all travelers on the roads of the earth,
And our lives intertwine in roving lanes,
Without rhyme nor reason.
We are all travelers on the roads of the earth…
Click Here for complete text and English Translation
Réfugié, Mon Frère – recording:
Lewis & Clark College Voces Auream
Brandon Brack, conductor
Stephanie Thompson, piano
Bailey Dean, soloist