James was commissioned to compose a new piece for the 2017 edition of the Setúbal Music Festival. The new work was written for the Festival’s resident Youth Ensemble, a unique group consisting of: classical instrumentalists, jazz musicians, African drummers, and young people with special needs.
Responding to the theme of ‘Migrations’, explored throughout the 2017 edition of the festival, James composed a suite that celebrates the diversity of cultural traditions found within Portugal. Incorporating everything from the poetry of Camões to rhythms from Portuguese-speaking Africa, the work moves between styles and periods in an attempt to showcase the rich variety of Portuguese musical practices.
The work was premiered in May 2017 at the Museu do Trabalho, Setúbal.