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Waves & Lines

by Gemma Peacocke

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Bees 04:33
Love 05:30
Father 04:14
Ice Cream 06:03
War 06:36
Separation 07:27
London 06:05


Waves & Lines is the new album from New Zealand-born, Princeton-based composer Gemma Peacocke, out November 30 on New Amsterdam Records. The record is available exclusively through New Amsterdam’s Bandcamp subscription as part of the Windmill Series, a new digitally-focused set of releases for subscribers in addition to our existing release schedule. Subscribe today to receive the album, which will be released on all other platforms February 15 2019.

Waves & Lines is a 50-minute multimedia song cycle for soprano, electronics and chamber ensemble. The album is based on a collection of Afghan women’s folk poems called landays. These poems are passed down secretly as a sung oral tradition and were collected and translated by Eliza Griswold in the book I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from contemporary Afghanistan.

Exploring the distance, anonymity and strange intimacy of phone calls, text messages, and radio broadcasts in which the poems are shared, the song cycle features the use of fixed electronics and projections.


Gemma Peacocke is a New Zealand-born composer based in Princeton, New Jersey. She blends acoustic and electronics sounds to create densely-textured, emotionally-engaging music, and her work often has a sociopolitical focus.

Her multimedia song cycle, Waves & Lines, was adapted from Eliza Griswold’s book I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan. Described as “moving, dramatic, and serious,” and “sensitive, gorgeously textured settings of poems,” (Cusp Magazine), the work, “highlights the longings, desires and shrewdness of women whose voices refuse to be stifled.” (The New York Times).

Gemma often works with choreographers, poets, visual artists, and theatre practitioners. She frequently collaborates with Australian director Benita de Wit and Thai-Australian playwright and artist Anchuli Felicia King. Her work has been performed and commissioned by Third Coast Percussion, PUBLIQuartet, Rubiks Ensemble, ~Nois Saxophone Quartet, cellist Nick Photinos, the JACK Quartet, the Desdemona Quartet, Fresh Squeezed Opera, the 21st Century Consort, and Alarm Will Sound.

She is co-founder of composer collective Kinds of Kings. Described by The New Yorker as “distinguished young creators who work in diverse styles,” the collective focuses on amplifying and advocating for underheard voices in music and producing immersive and inclusive work.


released November 30, 2018

Composed by Gemma Peacocke
Adapted from I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan by Eliza Griswold

Eliza Bagg, Voice
Borah Han, Piano
Adam Holmes, Percussion
Pat Swoboda, Bass

Engineered, mixed and mastered by Mike Tierney


all rights reserved



Gemma Peacocke Brooklyn, New York

Gemma Peacocke is a New Zealand-born, Brooklyn-based composer. She has a particular interest in cross-art form and multimedia projects. Gemma is co-founder of the Kinds of Kings composer collective which focuses on amplifying and advocating for under-heard voices and producing immersive and wondrous music. ... more

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