For All Our Sisters Performances

FOR ALL OUR SISTERS

In the last couple of weeks we have introduced the ideas and themes that motivated  For All Our Sisters. A new work by Aaron Grad, “Honey-sweet we sing for you”, commissioned by Diana Carey for the Seattle Baroque Orchestra lies at the heart of this project. In the weeks to come, we will weave together music, poetry, interviews, and dance to help us understand the powerful women in our collective past and present—especially those whose voices have been silenced by history’s (mostly male) gatekeepers and myth-makers. Each Friday in Clef Notes and through our social media channels, Early Music Seattle will be presenting For All Our Sisters. Stay tuned as the stories unfold.

For All Our Sisters: Part 7

For All Our Sisters completes the story of music, poetry, interviews, and dance to help us understand the powerful women in our collective past and present—especially those whose voices have been silenced by history’s (mostly male) gatekeepers and myth-makers. In our final week, we present cellist Nathan Whittaker.


Photo credit: Chuck Moses

Click image to view, For All Our Sisters: Interview with Nathan Whittaker Seattle Baroque Orchestra cellist, Nathan Whittaker, speaks about his reasons for selecting the music of lesser known composer Imogen Holst for the For All Our Sisters project and reflects on ways white men can offer women and people of color space for their voices to be heard in the music world.


Click image to view, For All Our Sisters: Cellist Nathan Whittaker introduces and performs the Poco adagio movement from Imogen Holst’s Fall of the Leaf, based on a sixteenth-century tune.

Jennifer Bullis – Part 6

For All Our Sisters continues to weave together music, poetry, interviews, and dance to help us understand the powerful women in our collective past and present—especially those whose voices have been silenced by history’s (mostly male) gatekeepers and myth-makers. Each Friday in Clef Notes and through our social media channels, Early Music Seattle will be presenting For All Our Sisters. This week, we present Poet Jennifer Bullis.


Click image to view, For All Our Sisters: Interview with Claudia Castro Luna and Jennifer Bullis Washington State Poet Laureate, Claudia Castro Luna and poet and librettist Jennifer Bullis, speak to the power of poetry in overcoming barriers and offering people a voice in these turbulent times.


Click image to view, For All Our Sisters: Poet Jennifer Bullis describes her journey to understand the Sirens and let them be heard in her libretto for Aaron Grad’s cantata Honey-sweet we sing for you.

To view Part 1 through Part 6 of For All Our Sisters, click here

Milvia Pacheco with Danielle Sampson & Aaron Grad – Part 5


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For All Our Sisters: Composer Aaron Grad describes how he worked with soprano Danielle Sampson and flutist Janet See to create a socially-distanced improvisation with dancer and theater artist Milvia Pacheco.


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For All Our Sisters:  On this Rocky Island performed by Milvia Pacheco

I believe in movement as a life generator, as an open door of depth change in our being, I dance because through dance I discovered the transforming power of movement.” ~ Milvia Pacheco

Dancer and theater artist Milvia Pacheco performs with the socially-distanced sounds of soprano Danielle Sampson and flutist Janet See. In separate recordings, Danielle and Janet improvised on themes from Honey-sweet we sing for you, the cantata by Aaron Grad and Jennifer Bullis that reimagines the Sirens myth from a female perspective. Aaron then merged their recordings into a new electronic composition.

Danielle Sampson & Aaron Grad – Part 4

Soprano Danielle Sampson joins composer and electric theorbo player Aaron Grad in an excerpt arranged from his cantata Honey-sweet we sing for you, a re-telling of the Sirens myth from their perspective.

Janet See – Part 3

Janet See, highly accomplished baroque and early classical flute soloist, shares stories about the path and opportunities that led her to become a successful musician and contrasts this with the challenges her mother faced expressing her creative voice in the 1950’s. View interview with Betsy Brick, EMS’s development direct and Janet See below.

VIDEOS:
Click here, Flutist Janet See discuss the music and mythology in Debussy’s flute solo Syrinx, as well as the personal journey that went into transferring this work to the Baroque flute.

Click here, Flutist Janet See performs Debussy’s Syrinx on a one-key flute.

Claudia Castro Luna – Part 2

Click image to view Interview with Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna and poet and librettist Jennifer Bullis, speak to the power of poetry in overcoming barriers and offering people a voice in these turbulent times.

Click to view Claudia Castro Luna’s reading of her poem, Bowed Seas

Bowed Seas

Women have chanted
across the ages
the same songs
songs of milk and bloom
of water and salt
laughing songs
and songs of longing
and belonging
chants spun
from skeins of light
from cords of wood

Across the ages
women have
chanted what they know,
an anthology of suffering
in antiquity some sang
from a Greek island
their voices widening azure seas,
on a plaza in Buenos Aires
they sang with their feet
around and around
the island that became
Plaza de Mayo
marching for their disappeared
sons and daughters,
in Rwandan villages
the length of 100 days
that became an island
of genocide
women howled
for mercy, a cry
the rest of the world
took too long to heed

Across the ages
bird women, fish women,
mad women, whose women?
most often
women not for themselves
singing on islands
kept to themselves
then again,
no matter the weather
women also singing
a catalog of joys
songs of rising bread
songs of the mind’s wild fruits
songs of a certain beloved
rainbow and of glories after rain
songs of budding breasts
and of wombs tender
with planets stirring within

When their sorrow
obscures the sky
other women will rise
when their holler
reaches the moon
other women will rise
voices of the same river
same hands leaning in
across the ages
water of eyes
water of blood
birth water,
tides that bind
bowed seas

~ Claudia Castro Luna

Aaron Grad – Part 1

Interview 
Local composer Aaron Grad shares the inspiration behind his work and pays tribute to the women in his life who have encouraged him to see it from a new perspective.


Click image to view interview with Betsy Brick (EMS Development Director) and Aaron Grad

Aaron Grad: “Both Sides Now”

Click here to hear, composer Aaron Grad introduce For All Our Sisters and perform an electric theorbo arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”