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Dissolving Boundaries

September 8, 2016

Dissolving Boundaries is the feature work on the program of the Maria Soulis Trio. It is inspired by the story of a child lost in the Lorestan province [Iran] that was cared for and breast fed by a bear for several days. The child went missing on the day the Gulf war of 2001 broke out and the piece moves between a North American mother whose crestfallen daughter cries at the news coverage and the voice of the mother in Lorestan whose family and neighbours search for three days before finding the sixteen month old toddler. This story speaks of the planet bringing lives together while at the same time tearing them apart. In sharing this work classical music embraces spiritual strength under the shadow of painful reality and unites the soul and the heart in a compelling way.

alan bell through the window

I first came across this story in Barbara Kingsolver’s book of essays Small Wonders. It is the first essay in the book and the child referred to in the song was her own. I have adjusted the story a bit bringing the mother bear and the child’s mother closer for dramatic reasons. On a deeper level this is about loss, the one kind of loss that mothers feel that no one else can. Bringing that into the song bridges the human-non human gap.



I have been inspired by the poetry and world-view of Linda Hogan where I find spiritual strength and optimism. Her ability to embrace our world through the most painful of realities is remarkable and an outstanding illustration of what art can be. *“Poetry has its own laws speaking for the life of the planet. It is a language that wants to bring back together what other words have torn apart.”


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