#UNWANTED: A SOCIAL MEDIA SONG CYCLE
#UNWANTED is a multi-media genre-bending song cycle written for a unique ensemble that includes voice, woodwinds, brass, percussion, synthesizers and electronics that collaborates real-time with film.
The cycle focuses on Black people’s navigation through social media and access to technology. It examines several ways in which prejudices, phobias, racisms, and more transform themselves to exist on social media platforms from Snapchat to LinkedIN and explores what it means to create and strongly value a virtual community and home.
The first movement, “Homesick”, was commissioned for the 10th year anniversary of Peabody Conservatory Junior Bach program and was later featured in the annual RISE BMORE concert which won Best Concert in Baltimore Magazine in 2016. In 2018 Al-Sabir was selected to be a recipient of the inaugural SUITE/Space Artist residency with the Mabou Mines Theater Company, where he took the opportunity to conceive and present the first workshop version of #UNWANTED in their new theater at Performance Space 122.
Engaging topics like navigating whiteness spaces, unwarranted DMs, love online, and even the need for weed, the soul of this piece is often blunt and sarcastic and doesn’t aim to provide much hope. It aims to put in plain view the experiences of 21st century black people, who have access (albeit limited) to social media, general information, formal education, and global communication yet still see few ways out of their centuries-old oppression.
#UNWANTED will have its official world premiere at The Shed in NYC on June 27 with following shows on June 28 and June 29.