Seattle Symphony Releases Giya Kancheli's Nu.Mu.Zu For Free Streaming and Download

UPDATE (1/29/16): This weekend is your last chance to stream or download Nu.Mu.Zu for free before it returns to our audio archive! We hope to eventually release this poignant work through our in-house record label, Seattle Symphony Media.

Major Symphonic Work Expresses Composer’s Hope for a Future without Violence

In response to recent world events, the Seattle Symphony has released Giya Kancheli’s emotional new work, Nu.Mu.Zu for Orchestra, for free streaming and download. The work conveys the composer’s struggle with comprehending violence and his hopes for a better future. Conducted by the Seattle Symphony’s French Music Director, Ludovic Morlot, Nu.Mu.Zu was recorded live at its U.S. premiere a week before the events in Paris and Beirut. Stream or download the recording here.

Morlot shared, “Earlier this month, we were deeply touched by Nu.Mu.Zu, and by the sentiments Kancheli expressed about his hopes for a world without violence. After the recent terrorist attacks in my home country of France, and elsewhere, we felt strongly that this music should go out into the world and be shared with everyone.”

Nu.Mu.Zu means “I don’t know” in the ancient language of Sumerian, which is from the Mesopotamian region, or modern-day Iraq. Kancheli shared the following reflection about the piece, “What is happening in the world is gradually, step by step, destroying the last hope in my consciousness, without which, for all of us, life loses its meaning. ‘I don't know’ what will happen in the future. However, having lost hope, I keep dreaming about a world in which fanaticism, sectarian strife and violence are no longer the dominant features of world order.”

“In light of recent events, we decided to bypass our usual record label distribution process to let this deeply moving composition be heard by as many people across the world as possible,” commented Seattle Symphony President & CEO Simon Woods. “The beauty of this music and Kancheli’s plea for peace is very timely as Americans go into the Thanksgiving holiday, with thoughts for those across the world who are living through frightening and challenging times.” 

Click here to read Seattle Symphony Annotator Paul Schiavo’s program notes on Nu.Mu.Zu for Orchestra.

About the Recording

The Seattle Symphony’s performances of Giya Kancheli’s Nu.Mu.Zu for Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Ludovic Morlot, were recorded live during the November 5, 6 and 7, 2015, performances in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium in Benaroya Hall. It was edited and produced by Grammy Award-winning producer and engineer Dmitriy Lipay, in consultation with the composer. Nu.Mu.Zu was co-commissioned by the Seattle Symphony and the National Orchestra of Belgium. The world premiere took place in Brussels in October 2015 under Andrey Boreyko. Nu.Mu.Zu is published by Sikorski Music Publishers.

This recording is being released for free streaming and download on the Seattle Symphony Media label, through SoundCloud.

Recording Credits

The release of Nu.Mu.Zu for Orchestra is made possible through the generosity of Martin Selig.

Recorded live in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington on November 5, 6 and 7, 2015.


The performances of Nu.Mu.Zu for Orchestra were presented as part of the Delta Air Lines Masterworks Season.


Giya Kancheli Nu.Mu.Zu for Orchestra – © 2015 Sikorski Music Publishers.


Producer: Dmitriy Lipay

Recording Engineer: Dmitriy Lipay
Mastering Engineer: Dmitriy Lipay
Executive Producer: Simon Woods

Art direction and design: Jessica Forsythe


℗ & © 2015 Seattle Symphony Media. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting of this record prohibited without prior written permission from the Seattle Symphony. Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street, Seattle, WA 98101


For more information about Seattle Symphony recordings click here.

Posted on November 24, 2015

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