I, Who Never Crossed this Desert 

Percussion trio and live electronic (2015)



In 2015, Swiss percussion collective Eklekto published a call for proposals on the theme of shelter (“abri” in French). I immediately thought of the refugee crisis which my country is experiencing. Thousands of African refugees arrive in Israel each year fleeing persecution in their home countries, enduring the unthinkable during their journey. This same journey, in mythical form, constitutes one of the founding narratives of Jewish identity. However, today’s refugees I not faced with a situation that is sheltering, and rather face a complex web of challenges connected to their arrival in the new reality.

“I, who never crossed this desert” features three percussionists and electronics. Bowed cymbals placed upon skin drums evoke the sound of the human voice, reflected also in the electronic writing. The piece is built on a long process of intensification, reflecting the feeling of an ongoing journey, which doesn’t seem to end.

I who never crossed this desert was commissioned by Eklekto percussion center and premiered by Alexandra Bellon, Anne Briset and Aïda Diop at l’Abri, Geneva in 2015.