My Eyes Are Always Hungry

Programme Note

The work’s focus, sparked out of the commission theme of ‘gravitas’, concerns itself with the emotion of loss, and it presented in two ways. The first expresses, through the words of American Civil Right’s Activist Audre Laude’s “Afterimages,” the social injustice surrounding the death of Emmitt Till, a 13-year-old black boy who was murdered in 1955 in Mississippi for supposedly cat-calling a white lady. This murder was important in American history as it was the first racial killing that went to trial. The white woman, known as Carolyn Bryant, only recently admitted in 2008 that she had fabricated the entire story, leaving Emmitt Till to die for nothing.

This devastation is coupled with images of the vast poverty crisis in South Africa.

Afterimages by Audre Lorde

However the image enters
its force remains within
my eyes
rockstrewn caves where dragonfish evolve
wild for life, relentless and acquisitive
learning to survive
where there is no food
my eyes are always hungry
and remembering
however the image enters
its force remains.
A white woman stands bereft and empty
a black boy hacked into a murderous


Dedication, Awards & Acknowledgements

My Eyes Are Always Hungry was commissioned by The Esoterics through their POLYPHONOS competition where Asman was named the international young composer winner thereof.


Unaccompanied choir (sssSS-AA-TT-BB)


Performed by the The Esoterics; Seattle (2017)

Coming soon

Year(s) of Composition:
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The music of composer Conrad Asman (b. 1996) has gained international recognition as being “innovative and cutting edge” (Chorosynthesis) and spans a wide emotional range from “heart-rending” (The Esoterics), to “fun and festive” (Creative Feel). His works have been performed in Africa, Asia, Europe and America in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the Jinji Lake Concert Arena. Engagements with ensembles such as the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Esoterics singers, the CHROMA ensemble and the Cape Town Youth Choir have led to his work winning multiple major awards, scholarships and commissions worldwide.