Before Bloom (2021)
from the composer
Written during the time of upheaval that Palestine has been witnessing this past Spring, Before Bloom offers an alternative reading of Boticelli’s Primavera. As an echo to the chiaroscuro reflected in the dark yet vivid details of the flora, this piece weaves a resonance between Boticelli’s leaves and the flora of the land, that has been a silent yet present witness since millennia, watching upon the people’s suffering, yet continuing to bloom at the start of every season of Spring, in defiance and resilience – the way nature always and unfailingly can.
Deemed a “Rising Star” by BBC Music Magazine and raised on the verge of several musical streams since her childhood, violinist and composer Layale Chaker debuted her musical training at the National Higher Conservatory of Beirut, Conservatoire de Paris and the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Layale’s musical world lies at the intersection of classical contemporary music, Jazz, Arabic Music, and improvisation. As a violinist and composer, she has received commissions and presented performances and projects around Europe, the Middle-East, North and South America and Asia, and has collaborated with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Johnny Gandelsman, Holland Baroque, International Contemporary Ensemble, Oxford Orchestra, the New World Symphony, Babylon Orchestra, performing at the London Jazz Festival, Alderburgh Festival, Morgenland Festival Osnabrueck, Junger Kunstler Festival Bayreuth, the Lucerne Festival for Contemporary Music, Beethoven Festival Bonn, Berlin Philharmonic, Abbaye de Royaumont, Hancher Auditorium, The Stone, National Sawdust, Royal Albert Hall and the Wigmore Hall.
Her debut album “Inner Rhyme” was listed as “Top of The World” by Songlines with a 5-star review, rated #2 on NPR 10 Best Releases, #1 for several weeks on the World Charts of iTunes and Amazon Music, and has received praises by the BBC Music Magazine, The New York Times, The Strad, Strings Magazine, Jazz World among others.
A Jerome Hill Fellow and a Nadia et Lili Boulanger 2019 laureate, Layale is also a finalist of the Rolex Mentor & Protege 2018 Prize, the recipient of the Diaphonique Franco-British Commission Prize 2019, the 2018 Arab Fund for Arts and Culture Grant, the Royal Academy of Music 2018 Guinness Award, and the winner of the Ruth Anderson 2017 Competition.