SHELTERING VOICES | Soprano Solo, SSAA Choir, Orchestra

SHELTERING VOICES | Soprano Solo, SSAA Choir, Orchestra



Instrumentation: Symphony Orchestra ( / /timp + 1 /soprano solo, SSAA choir/strings)

Duration: 20 Minutes

Commissioned By: The Eureka Ensemble

Program Notes: For “Sheltering Voices”, the Eureka Ensemble and I decided that I should compose a work that would raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence in Boston. We worked with local women’s shelters to build a choir made of anyone who wished to join, and we provided these women with stipends and food, and rehearsals carried out with joy and love and respect. And we listened to their stories. We decided that I should work with poet and women’s rights activist Jessica Lynn Suchon to create a piece of music in five movements that would correspond to the five steps of recovery from abuse.

Jessica Lynn Suchon's poetry (here a crown of sonnets) is as painful as it is beautiful, and it was a pleasure to set it while my eyes constantly brimmed with tears – this experience, this process of writing sound alongside her words dove straight into my heart from the very beginning. These moments at times stark, at times unfurling with bouquet upon bouquet of blooming, erupting flora - I'm blessed and honored to be able to bring this piece forth to Jessica, to the Eureka Ensemble, and most importantly to the women whose voices brought these "songs" and these words to life.

During the week of final rehearsals and the performance in May 2018, donations poured in to the women’s shelters we worked with, and in-kind donations were also made in dramatic amounts. Now This News released a documentary on our project just a few months after the premiere, and it went viral, amassing more than a million views in just three days (scroll down to see the video).

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