A new music project by JAVIER FARIAS based on the immigrant experience


Featuring PubliQuartet, Barnard-Columbia Chamber Choir, Scott Hill and Carolina Choir among others.

In September 2015, like countless others worldwide, I was deeply shaken by the heart-wrenching image of young Aylan Kurdi, lifeless on a Turkish shore—a tragic casualty of Syria’s relentless civil conflict. This haunting photo stirred a mix of sorrow, empathy, and outrage within me. To me, it symbolized the vulnerability and peril faced by those desperate enough to flee their homeland in pursuit of a brighter future. What troubled me further was the growing adoption of stringent policies by many Western governments at that time, restricting the movement of people and potentially leading to more tragedies like Aylan’s.


Where we belong (2022)

Commissioned by Carnegie Hall’s Reflections of Resilience project, WHERE WE BELONG is scored for double string quartet, charango and guitar. The work features the acclaimed PubliQuartet along with a group of young Latin American immigrants, all of them students from InTempo, an organization based in Stamford, CT, that provides high-quality classical and intercultural music education to children predominantly from immigrant backgrounds and from communities underrepresented in the arts.

The premiere will take place at Carnegie Hall on June 26th, 2022.



La Voz de Monica

LA VOZ DE MONICA features the story of Monica, who left her two-year-old son in Ecuador in 2000 to make a grueling journey to Mexico where she tried to cross the border in the U.S. This trip turned into something much more ghastly than she anticipated, so much so that it nearly cost her life. Even though she’s been living a productive life in the United States for decades, she is still considered undocumented.

instrumentation: mixed choir, classical guitar

duration: 13 minutes

commissioned by Susan Klebanow

premiere: November 2023. Moeser Auditorium in Chapel Hill, NC

Carolina Choir conducted by Susan Klebanow, Billy Stewart (classical guitar)

Young Voices for the Future

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, this project seeks to raise awareness about the problems facing young immigrants as they leave their homes and adapt to life in the US. The work includes six new pieces that use texts taken from poems and prose written by middle and high school Latinos, all of whom are recent arrivals to the United States living in Montgomery County, MD.

instrumentation: classical guitar, narration

duration: 20 minutes

commissioned by The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County

Voices from Maya

VOICES FROM MAYA details the journey of Maya, who was 23 years old when escaping the war-torn Croatia in 1993 to start a new life in the U.S. The following rather disconcerting extract was taken from an interview and reflects her thoughts in war: “Is it a peace day or not? Where are the bombs coming from? Counting the seconds from the time the bomb launches, because you start to recognize the sound of it, is it coming from the air or from the boats? You live like that. Your vocabulary changes.”

instrumentation: mixed choir, electric and classical guitar

duration: 14 minutes

commissioned by Barnard-Columbia Chamber Choir

premiere: April 2022. Church of the Ascension, New York City.

Barnard-Columbia Chamber Choir conducted by Gail Archer, Javier Farias (electric guitar) and Scott Hill (classical guitar)

Where We Belong

A piece commissioned by InTempo for PlayUSA, a program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, WHERE WE BELONG is scored for double string quartet, charango and guitar. The work features the acclaimed PubliQuartet and students from the Stamford based after school music program, InTempo, an organization that provides high-quality classical and intercultural music education to children predominantly from immigrant backgrounds and communities underrepresented in the arts.

instrumentation: double string quartet, three charangos and two classical guitars

duration: 10 minutes

commissioned by InTempo and PlayUSA

premiere: June 2022. Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. PubliQuartet, INTEMPO students

Voices (2022)

VOICES is a trilogy of works scored for mixed choir, classical and electric guitar that will form a small part of the larger A LONG WALK series. Each piece in VOICES is based on a real person and the reason they decided to leave their country of origin. The first piece, VOICES FROM MAYA, chronicles the journey of a young woman escaping war-torn Croatia and starting a new life in the U.S. The piece was commissioned by conductor Gail Archer and the Barnard Columbia Chorus and featured composer Javier Farias on electric guitar and Scott Hill on classical. The premiere took place in April 2022, in NYC.



Never step back (2020)

A 40 minute suite written for guitar and voice, depicts texts and poetry by Kate Evans, Mai Ver Dang, Tracey K. Smith and Luis Alberto Urrea.


Being in snow is an adventure.

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