A young woman walks to her car after a late-night study session. A girl stands in the front row at a concert. A man catches up with an old friend. Four women are separated after arriving at a party. In each of these situations, something goes wrong. Each of these people falls prey to the same tragedy that strikes one in five college-age women, and each one must choose how to deal with the fallout and public opinion about their sexual assault.
Almost everyone is affected by sexual assault and rape culture, whether they themselves have been assaulted or they just continue to pass on the same well-intentioned but poorly formulated “advice.” Many of us live in the space in between, aware of the issue but not bothering to consider the nuances. Letters from the Aftermath is my adventure into the moments in an assault victim’s life that the media and the world would rather ignore. Whose responsibility should it be to prevent assault? How does that conflict with what we hear and say today?
Ultimately, Letters will act as an intermediary, a collection of musical works for various ensembles that are open to interdisciplinary collaboration (particularly with actors and dancers) but also can be presented as standalone pieces. Each installment is story-driven, emphasizing the need for more voices in the conversation about sexual assault. Letters will immerse concertgoers in a victim’s/survivor’s/casualty’s world, drawing the audience in but requesting that they kindly leave their traditions at the door.
Just remember, with assault, there’s only one rule….
Panic II, 2019—soloist (open)*
Panic I, 2019—flugelhorn and tape (2’45″+)*
walking/I’m sorry, Mom, 2019—two narrators and moving a cappella choir (~5′)
You Probably Don’t Remember Me, 2019—harp and fixed media (3’45”)
People Talk, 2018—symphony orchestra and roaming, raging narrator (with option for chamber orchestra—13’30”)
women’s work (collective mend), 2018—mezzo-soprano and objects (3′)
like no one’s watching, 2018—one or more victims/survivors/casualties (open)
Take What You Want, 2018—two narrators with sad stories (3′)
He Probably Just Likes You, 2017—ten jazz musicians and narrator (5’30”)
Don’t Tell, 2016 – fixed media (5′)
N.B.: works with an asterisk (*) were created during the development of face the mirror.
Watch Don’t Tell featuring original choreography by Megan Holehan here:
Listen to He Probably Just Likes You as performed by the Nash Composers’ Coalition here:
Below I’m compiling a list of my blog posts and other writings that directly relate to sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other aspects of rape culture.
To Mark Swed Re: Plácido Domingo, 10/4/2019
“Know My Name” and the Complexity of Post-Assault Relationships, 9/25/2019
Pardon Our Dust (This Work Is Messy), 8/17/2019
Music, Weaponized Vulnerability, and the Question of Us, 8/10/2019
Curtis Institute’s Non-Apology and Actionable First Steps, 7/29/2019
Audience Participation vs. Performer Protection: A Snapshot, 7/20/2019
Fuck the Maestro Mentality, 7/13/2019
the performance of affection in male spaces, 6/29/2019
Stay Informed, Help Your Friends: A Survivor’s (Super-Abridged) Guide to Things You Should Know, 4/27/2019
Don’t Shout (And Other Suggestions For Allies-In-Training), 4/20/2019
The Men in the Gray Area, 4/13/2019
A Counterintuitive Guide to Mandated Title IX Reporting, 4/6/2019
Recital in Review: face the mirror and its process, 3/9/2019
that girl onstage isn’t me, 3/2/2019
Schrödinger’s Rapist and His Presence in Male Spaces, 1/20/2019
We Don’t Report, 9/29/2018
this does not feel good, 9/22/2018
Coming to Terms, 8/25/2018
A Memo to Private Teachers/A Thank You to my Dance Instructors, 7/28/2018
On the “#MeToo Generation,” Per the President, 7/9/2018
my mother was right (about concertgoing), 6/7/2018
An Open Letter to Mayim Bialik, 10/15/2017
Remain in Your Seats: When Sexual Respect Training Goes Wrong, 9/5/2017
Dear Teenage Girls, You Deserve Better, 6/14/2017
Bringing’ It Back: Don’t Tell Enters the Jazz World, 3/20/2017
On Jazz Performance and the Isolation of Women, 3/11/2017
Don’t Tell: February Premieres and Shenanigans, 2/7/2017