“And the Hummingbird Says…” A song cycle performance about the late environmentalist Wangari Maathai by composer Mihoko Suzuki, words by Martin Rowe, sound by Timothy Cramer. With Elaine Lachica, Hai-Ting Chinn, Michael Steinberger, and Steven Moore.
This world premiere, scored for four voices, consists of five songs that combine the Buddhist elements (earth, water, air, fire, and void) with reflections on and dramatizations of the life and ideas of Wangari Maathai, the late Kenyan environmentalist, social justice activist, and Nobel Peace Laureate. Each song explores a facet of an experience represented by Maathai: as an African whose culture is belittled by colonialism; as a lover of trees who confronts deforestation; as an advocate for women and freedom who faces violence and misogyny; as a campaigner for the environment who struggles in the face of disbelief and ridicule; and as a single individual battling climate change and the inevitability of death. (75 minutes)
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