Novel Voices, the newest branch of the non-profit Project: Music Heals Us created and directed by the Carr-Petrova Duo is a project designed to give voice and visibility, through music and film, to the lives and struggles of both local and international refugee communities, and to encourage audiences and artists alike to become connected and involved. It brings free, interactive classical music concerts to displaced populations while increasing awareness of and raising support for both U.S.-based and international refugee-aid programs. 

The journey

During the 2018-2019 season, the Novel Voices team— comprised of the Carr-Petrova Duo (violist Molly Carr & pianist Anna Petrova), composer Fernando Arroyo Lascurain, and film-maker and photographer Victoria Stevens— will visit and perform concerts and workshops in refugee camps and support programs in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.  They will use a concert program of works written by composers who faced adversity and used their art to help find their place and voice in a foreign land.  During these visits, the team will listen to, learn from, document, and record the stories of audience members.  Mr. Lascurain will then use these conversations and encounters as the basis for an original musical composition, giving the project’s refugee participants and their stories a novel musical voice.  The ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Carr-Petrova Duo will record and release an album featuring Mr. Lascurain’s original composition as well as works from the concert program, and Ms. Stevens will create a film focusing on the project. To close out, the team will premiere the composition and a preview of Ms. Stevens’ film in a final benefit concert at Carnegie Hall in September 2019.
The Novel Voices project will take place in six stages throughout the year:
August 2018: The Carr-Petrova Duo will record the Novel Voices album (except for Mr. Lascurain’s forthcoming composition) in Valencia, Spain.  The team will then convene in Jelling, Denmark, for its first program at the Jelling Refugee Centre for unaccompanied minors.
October 2018:  In collaboration with the Conference with Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, the Novel Voices team will present its project in the United Nations in New York City in honor of the 70th Anniversary of CoNGO and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They will perform a concert, speak about the Novel Voices project and its partnering organizations, and present a short film recorded during their program at the Jelling Refugee Center, Denmark.  Following this concert, the team will spend two days collaborating with the International Rescue Committee, Refugee Assistance Partners, and other organizations in New York and New Jersey. 
December 2018: The Novel Voices team will convene in California to partner with various California-based refugee-aid programs, performing for and learning from migrant and refugee populations in the Los Angeles area.  
March 2019: The Novel Voices team will convene in the Middle East to present their program at both the Dheisheh and Shuafat Palestinian refugee camps, partnering with the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music's refugee camp outreach program.  They will then travel to Bulgaria to the Harmanli refugee camp, working with the Caritas Bulgaria organization, focusing in aiding displaced women and children.
April 2019: The Carr-Petrova Duo will return to the studio in Valencia, Spain, to record Mr. Lascurain’s composition.
October 2019: The Novel Voices team will premiere Mr. Lascurain’s composition and a preview of Ms. Stevens' film in a final Refugee Awareness concert in Carnegie Hall.
In order to help raise awareness and support for those aid organizations with which the team will be partnering, the Carr-Petrova Duo will also perform the same concert program on many international concert stages throughout the season. During these public performances, they will speak about the project and share their experiences from the refugee centers and programs. Additionally, the Novel Voices team will regularly update the project’s weblog with videos, news, and reflections, to document the encounters in each camp and program, allowing a global audience to virtually travel, experience, and learn along with them. Every published update will contain detailed information on both the specific aid organizations with which they will be partnering during the project, as well as ways that anyone, anywhere can become involved. 
Project: Music Heals Us and the Novel Voices team are excited and humbled by the opportunity to use art to reach out to those living on the margins of our local and global communities. We hope not only to provide the momentary solace and empowerment that music and storytelling can provide, but to create spaces in which their unique stories can be heard, connections can be made, and support can be galvanized.