I don’t remember everything about the young man who assaulted me, but his actions live on in my mind every day. That said, though I’ll never know for certain, I’m roughly ninety percent sure he wouldn’t recall anything unusual or disturbing about that day. While writing You Probably Don’t Remember Me, I tried to find a way to put this queasy feeling into words, but beyond the text of the piece, I don’t have many good ways to explain it. Though it’s a difficult thing to talk about publicly due to the onus we place on victims to be perfect in every way, I know I’m not the only one who thinks if I walked up to my attacker today and asked if he remembered what he did, he would say no.
It’s an interesting byproduct of the greater conversation surrounding assault: if the person who hurt you doesn’t remember hurting you, are you still entitled to your justice? (Spoiler alert: yes, you are.) Starting sentences with “he probably doesn’t remember it” can make a survivor look weak to the public eye, even when it reinforces the fact that most folks still don’t take assault seriously—including when they themselves commit the offense.
So, to mirror this, You Probably Don’t Remember Me is a little lost, driven best by the performer sitting at the harp. I’ve chosen a variety of sounds to create an eerie, uninviting atmosphere, and the harpist’s job is to get through it. As much as I’d love to make survival sound like an epic adventure, a lot of the time it’s making it through things that just don’t quite feel right. And we should honor those efforts, too.
[Performance notes are available in the full score.]
You Probably Don’t Remember Me will be available for purchase on April 1, 2019.