Vijay Iyer’s “Human Archipelago” was performed by the Oregon Symphony on Jan. 13-16 in Salem and Portland, Oregon.

“Climate change and the mass migration of people from one country to another are two topics that undergo exploration in Human Archipelago, a new cello concerto that will receive its U.S. premiere with the Oregon Symphony,” writes James Bash in last Friday’s (1/6) Oregonian. Written by Vijay Iyer, Human Archipelagowas co-commissioned by the symphony and a consortium of orchestras as part of New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program. The performances (Jan. 13-16) in Salem and Portland will feature internationally acclaimed cellist Inbal Segev, and will be led by associate conductor Deanna Tham…. Human Archipelago came about through conversations that I had with the writer Teju Cole, said Iyer. We talked about how the refugee crises in the Mediterranean and North America are often driven by climate change. Environmental disasters are driving people to flee and seek refuge for a more stable, safer life somewhere else. The piece I wrote offers the opportunity to reflect on the precarity of that process—how refugees are embraced or rejected with second or third-class status.