On October 9th, Ravello Records (a PARMA label) will release a CD recording of my chamber opera for solo voice and electronic sound, She Lost Her Voice That’s How We Knew. This work was a collaboration with soprano Kristin Norderval and Valeria Vasilevski, who directed and wrote the libretto.
She Lost Her Voice That’s How We Knew moves through situations of trauma or awe, exploring the necessity to put into words what is unspeakable. Valeria based her text on conversations the three of us had when we first began the collaboration. We talked about many things, including some of the most profound events in our lives: times of trauma, death, awe, wonder. At these moments, experiences beyond words, we found that we lost our voices and faced silence. She Lost Her Voice, That’s How We Knew grew from this insight.
While coming from our personal stories, the work is also open to the larger and more universal issues that are implied by the idea of this loss of voice. While there is no explicit, linear narrative, the piece does suggest an interior drama, from which a definite persona emerges. This persona has multiple voices: an inner voice, a voice of memory, a public voice, a private voice, a spoken voice, a singing voice, and a voice silenced by the fears that define our time. The “voice” struggles to reveal her secret, but questions if there is willingness to even listen. Relentlessly, she searches for the heart that receives even the most despicable, or most desirable, truth. At the same time, she is also a listener, hearing the cries of all these different voices.
It has been an honor and a joy to collaborate with Kristin and Valeria. They are both great, great artists, and also deeply beautiful and compassionate human beings. Creating She Lost Her Voice, That’s How We Knew required us to trust each other profoundly, as we shared some of the darkest, and also the most transcendent experiences of our lives. I am overjoyed that the result of this loving and profound collaboration will now be available to many new listeners!
Kristin, Valeria and I plan on a CD release event on October 28 at Spectrum in NYC. I’ll post more about that soon, as we work out the details. In the meantime, a video with excerpts from the piece: