In 2012 Nigel Westlake captured Sydney hearts with his poignant and stirring Missa Solis - a requiem for his son Eli that brought tears of grief and hope to the eyes of musicians as well as listeners. Twelve months on, moved by the passionate artistry of singer-songwriter Lior, Westlake approached the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with the idea of a new collaboration.
Together they have created Compassion, a symphony of songs that unites the soulful power of Lior’s voice with the radiance and vivid drama of Westlake’s orchestral style. Their theme is the wisdom of compassion expressed through ancient writings and timeless music. Poetic, beautiful and rewarding, this unique collaboration celebrates the liberating power of compassion and kindness, that can bring people together across the divides of race and fear.
Compassion draws from the rich worlds of Islam and Judaism to present a collection of profound and poetic insights into the practice of compassion and its ability to transform our relationships as human beings. It offers listeners space and opportunity to reflect on the qualities of mercy and love, and how they can to enrich our lives with meaning, insight, depth and worth.
‘Compassion inhabits a vast array of emotions and colours,‘ says composer Nigel Westlake, ‘at times pulsating and riotous, at others reflective and textural, and draws upon the myriad of influences the two of us have been able to bring to the table from our incredibly diverse backgrounds. With the utmost respect, we have tried to imbue the ancient texts with a contemporary interpretation, adhering to the purity of a single voice and orchestra.’