And land, like language, is inherited

و الارض تورث كاللغة

Based on Mahmoud Darwish's poem

  • Music
  • Poetry
  • Show
The 2022 archive

Franck Tortiller and Elias Sanbar


A passionate jazz oratorio inspired by the odyssey of the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, this show about the pain of exile couldn’t be more relevant

And land, like language, is inherited, 2022 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


Elias Sanbar, Mahmoud Darwish’s close friend and translator, and composer Franck Tortiller have decided to pay homage to one of the greatest voices of contemporary Palestine. This poetic and musical odyssey dedicated to him is like a passionate oratorio for reciters and a small orchestra, at once lyrical and contrasted, written and improvised. No trace of orientalism though in this musical adaptation of the poem, as the composer looked first and foremost for a form free from our preconceived notions about style. And it is an undeniable success, thanks to the magic of tones, dynamics, and rhythms that highlight the power of words. And the land is inherited like the language is now also a show about the condition of exiles who guide us from threshold to threshold towards a hinterland where the living and the sleeping—children, fighters, travellers, heroes, martyrs, believers—can find their way home. 

The work of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008)—anchored in its time and celebrated throughout the Arab world—sings of exile, war, prison, and love.


With Franck Tortiller (composition, vibraphone),Elias Sanbar (reciter), Dominique Devals (soprano)
And he musicians Maxime Berton (saxophone, flute), Joël Chausse (trumpet, flugelhorn), Misja Fitzgerald Michel (guitare), Patrice Héral (percussion), Yves Torchinsky (contrebasse)

Poem Mahmoud Darwich
Translation Elias Sanbar
Music Franck Tortiller


Production Musiques à Ciel Ouvert
Co-production Le Volcan Scène nationale du Havre
Co-host Là ! c’est de la Musique, Festival d’Avignon
In partnership with France Médias Monde

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