This programme and accompanying album recording, curated by violinist Marie Schreer, is the first of a series centred around the meaning of home, origin and belonging, geographically, culturally and emotionally.

This first programme features three new works by Marie Schreer, Aaron Holloway-Nahum, and Ashkan Behzadi, as well as a new poem by Taher Adel.

We gratefully acknowledge support from PRS Foundation and Vaughan Williams Foundation.



Marie Schreer

Marie Schreer

Aaron Holloway-Nahum

Aaron Holloway-Nahum

Ashkan Behzadi

Ashkan Behzadi

Taher Adel

Taher Adel

Marie Schreer’s new piece is inspired by the mind map she drew at the outset of this project. Her thoughts and explorations around the concept of ‘home’ have taken her to radically different corners of its meaning. With this new work, she seeks to intonate the obstacles and dead ends that come with struggling to describe feelings and sentiments in words, getting stuck and somehow disentangling oneself along the way. This work will be semi-improvised, giving her the freedom to respond to her ever-changing understanding of where she belongs and what home is to her.

Aaron Holloway-Nahum’s new work for violin, video and electronics is written in close collaboration with Marie. The tape part for the electronics is based on various voice messages she sent him in which she speaks about her thoughts on sound and noise, her connection to her violin, the physicality of playing and childhood memories. Aaron also interviewed Marie’s family about their memories of her as a child. The piece will be partially improvised and the accompanying video will include clips Marie and Aaron filmed both in Germany and in the UK. Aaron will also film her ****performing a violin part which she will play along to and interact with in live performances.

If I am.mp3

[Audio clip from voice messages for tape part]

<aside> 📖 Composers Edition article: Behind the Scenes


A large part of Ashkan Behzadi’s work as a composer is built around the inclusion of literature. For this new work, Marie connected Ashkan with poet and spoken word artist Taher Adel whose poetry is largely based on languages and our relationship to our mother tongue. Taher has created a new collection of poetic translations of the word home in Arabic, which will be integrated into Ashkan’s new work for singing violinist. Each of the work’s six movements will be dedicated to a child who has lost their home and/or life during the current Israel-Palestine conflict.

Arabic Names for Home.pdf

Excerpt from “Arabic Names for Home” (Taher Adel)

Excerpt from “Arabic Names for Home” (Taher Adel)

The programme will be recorded for release in 2025.


Marie Schreer: [title tbc] (15’)

“My new piece is semi-improvised and inspired by my family’s East German history as well as my own past and ever-moving home base. It explores multi-generational trauma, cultural fluency and the linguistic barriers that create obstacles and form dead ends when trying to express concepts and sentiments as complex as home and belonging.”

Aaron Holloway-Nahum: If I am from somewhere I am from there (20’)

If I am from somewhere I am from there is a piece for solo violin, video and electronics for Marie Schreer. As with all of my music, this piece asks a lot from its performer. It makes huge demands upon Marie’s memory, improvisatory skills, and her ability to be unfailingly honest, direct and expressive. The piece makes extensive use of videos Marie took and shared on social media (unintended for music or this piece) alongside interviews with her and her family. It is about home and resonance and community and belonging in an age where each of these ideas is seemingly more tenuous than ever before.”

Ashkan Behzadi: Belonging ****[working title] **(20’)

“The war in the Middle East continuously shatters the lives of so many children whose wondering traumatized eyes gaze, observed through our social media, into a dark and uncertain future, and whose fundamental rights of having a "home" are shattered in an instance of barbaric violence. With this piece I want to provide an ephemeral home out of sound. I want to form a dialectical entity between Taher’s text, the intricate expressivity of Marie’s performance character, and the sonic space of my music so that it may, in a hushed tone of a mournful soul singing to herself, capture the essence of the pain in those wondering eyes. This, I imagine, will be structured around a series of interconnected miniatures, intertwining the sound of the violin and little fragments of Marie’s hushed singing or reciting of Taher’s poetry, and the incorporation of the subtle bow movement that forms a mobile ephemeral monument for the pain of those innocent children of this world who have no choice but to face the harsh reality of being denied a home.”

Taher Adel: Arabic Names for Home (6 verses)

“The poetry is centred around the multilayered definition of Home, inspired by the Arabic language. It orbits around the various etymological aspects of Home while also drawing inspiration from personal heritage and global displacement and immigration.”

Artists involved

Marie Schreer (violin/voice/composer)

‘A champion of music of various genres’ (The Strad), UK-based violinist Marie Schreer is both a compelling interpreter of new works and a prominent exponent of the Western classical tradition. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has had over forty works written for her and is featured on dozens of releases alongside renowned artists including Lars Vogt, guitarist John Williams, Evan Parker, and Kate Williams. Marie is co-Artistic Director and violinist of award-winning Riot Ensemble and also holds the position of Section Leader Second Violins at The Hallé in Manchester. She is in high demand as guest principal with orchestras and ensembles across the UK and has performed throughout Europe, South America and Asia.

Marie grew up in Germany where she started learning the violin aged three at  Musikakademie Diapason with Ute Frenzel. She later moved to London to continue her studies with Berent Korfker, Daniel Rowland and Yuri Zhislin (viola) at the Royal College of Music and with Krzysztof Smietana and David Dolan (classical improvisation) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating with a Concert Recital Diploma, awarded for an outstanding final recital.

Together with pioneering musician John Garner, Marie co-founded contemporary violin duo Mainly Two as well as The Guastalla Quartet, with whom she won ‘Best Album’ at the 2020 All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards. They also co-run record label Turquoise Coconut which releases new music of all kinds and hosts a podcast featuring interviews with internationally acclaimed artists, including improviser, author and educator Stephen Nachmanovitch and South Indian violinist and composer Jyotsna Srikanth.

Aaron Holloway-Nahum (composer/electronics)

Aaron Holloway-Nahum is a composer, conductor, and recording engineer. Characterized by experimental narrative structures, a growing interest in live multi-media, detailed, ornate timbres and bold melodic unisons, Aaron's music has been performed in nearly twenty countries, with commissions ranging from Third Coast Percussion (Chicago) to Plural Ensemble (Madrid) to the LSO, in his hometown of London. Aaron is a visiting professor at the Hochschule Darmstadt, and a member of the composition faculty of the Royal Academy of Music, London.

His career combines this compositional knowledge with a variety of additional skills: as a conductor and arts entrepreneur, he founded and serves as the co-Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Riot Ensemble. With Riot and other ensembles, Aaron has led more than three hundred premieres at many of Europe’s most prestigious festivals. As an audio engineer, Aaron is the Head of d&b Soundscape at Southby Productions and managing director of Coviello Productions where his clientele includes the Arditti Quartet, Sandbox Percussion and Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Ashkan Behzadi (composer)

Ashkan Behzadi is an Iranian composer residing in New York City. He is a graduate of McGill University in composition and music theory. Prior to this he also earned a bachelor's degree in architecture from Tehran University. He has studied compositions with Alireza Mashayekhi, Chris Paul Harman, Brian Cherney, Philippe Leroux, Fred Lerdahl, George Lewis and Georg Friedrich Haas.

Ashkan’s music has been performed by various ensembles internationally, including Divertimento Ensemble, neuverBand ensemble, Exaudi, Wet Ink, Talea Ensemble, Ekmeles, Yarn/Wire, NAMES Ensemble, le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM), Esprit Orchestra ) and his work is recognized by artist residencies and festivals such as MacDowell Fellowship, Civitella Ranieri, Divertimento Ensemble Composers Meeting, Dialoge Festival at Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg, Rondo 2017, Manifeste Festival at IRCAM, and CIRMMT new music series. His music also has won numerous commission awards and competitions such as Koussevitzky Foundation Commission award, Fromm Foundation Commission award, Graham Sommer Second Prize, the Prix de Composition at Fontainebleau.

For the 2019/20 academic year, Ashkan Behzadi joined the Department of Music of the University of Chicago as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Center for Contemporary Composition. He previously taught at Columbia University as a Lecturer in Discipline in Music and, in September 2023, joined Manhattan School of Music as a faculty member in Music Composition.

The issue of genre-identity or genre-blurring, and the dialectical relationship between modernist lyric poetry and contemporary music have formed the core of Ashkan’s aesthetic concerns in the last few years. Structurally, by demonstrating great attention to details, his music conveys a miniaturist and gentle lyrical landscape, in which, by employing the techniques of allusion and pastiche as the bases of his craft, his music ultimately aims to invoke the collective-memory of folklore music.

Taher Adel (poetry/spoken word)

Taher Adel, a British-Bahraini poet and spoken word artist, holds an MA in Creative Writing and Poetry from the University of East Anglia. He serves as a judge for the Stephen Spender Poetry Prize and was appointed the Poet in Residence for Wells-next-the-Sea in 2019. His literary contributions include titles such as 'I Don't Know What Language I Dream In' (Burning Eye Books, Sept '23), 'The Names' (translated into Arabic by Rewayat Reads), 'The Chosen Names' and 'The Divine Names' (both from Sun Behind The Cloud). Beyond his books, Adel's works have been showcased in various esteemed publications and platforms, including Ambit, SMOKE Magazine, The New European, Gulf Daily News, Glassworks Magazine, Tedx, BBC Radio 4, Poetry London Magazine, and Poetry Salzburg Review.