Mother Maker is an online magazine that exclusively features interviews with artists who are also mothers. I was fortunate enough to be featured and discussed the work being done with “Diametrically Composed.” You can read the feature here!
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Feature in “Mother Maker” Magazine
Psithurism, his song.
Scores for”Diametrically Composed” are starting to come in. I’d love to share with you all some words from Paola Prestini’s contribution “Psithurism, his song”
Psithurism, his song
This work is inspired by the sound of the wind, and stems from the original Greek word meaning to whisper. The complex aspect of motherhood for me stems from the desire to enjoy each moment with my child while balancing the goals I’ve set for myself as an artist and activist. My greatest achievement and the role I judge myself most harshly is in my role as a mother. I continue to strive to be more present in the moments I am gifted as a mother. Yet the complexity of balance is also shaded by the moment we are living in now. The female voice, which is the human voice, is finally being heard. And while I do believe that “Time’s Up”, I also want to continue to do all we can to help our rarified field. And to equalize it not just for women but for all who are marginalized.The years of struggle with little mentorship or guidance for some reason stings rawly now, and so as I reassemble the parts of my life that make me whole, this commission takes on a resonance I did not afford myself to look at before. What does it mean to be artist and mother? How have I balanced it? How has my work benefited from this love?
I gather strength in the fact that I am not the first. If I listen hard enough to my inner compass and acknowledge my peers, the path continues to clear in front of me. This piece is written for my son, to his joy for the wind through the trees, and fallen leaves, and to my whispers to him at night-from the first whispers when you bare your soul to a newborn child, to the whispers when they sleep as they grow older, whispers of hope, love, sadness, and joy. The piano and flute in this piece have equal weight and represent a single unit made of the same fabric, yet with different impulses, different motivic and melodic materials, resembling the bond between mother and son.
Diametrically Composed is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution in support of this project, please visit my donation page here.
Composer Jessica Meyer on what “Diametrically Composed” means to her
This project represents so much of what I am doing as an artist. I started writing later in my career as a response to being a mother in an effort to find my true self. My son loves and gets what I do and some pieces are directly inspired by him – yet the process of building a career doing this often takes me away from him. A great example of this is the recent performance I had at The TANK that was covered by Alex Ross in the New Yorker (videos and links here: http://jessicameyermusic.com/news ). My husband and son totally supported my going, but I missed my son’s elementary school graduation for that opportunity. Even saying that out loud, I feel people judging my choices – whereas if my husband (clarinetist Benjamin Fingland) had a similar opportunity, nobody would bat an eyelash.
About the image: Jessica and her son Ethan at her Carnegie Hall premiere in October 2016.
Diametrically Composed has two more WONDERFUL additions to the line up of composers; Jessica Meyer and Alicia Hall Moran!!
Diametrically Composed is a collection of newly commissioned works for flute, voice and piano exploring the duality of being a mother and an artist.
Immediately after childbirth, it becomes clear that motherhood is multifaceted and life-changing. This new reality brings the joy of experiencing a newly created being and a powerful impact on creativity. Being an artist-mother is fulfilling, rewarding, and unpredictable – full of love, beauty, and constant learning. Caring for and cultivating the development of someone else’s life is a privilege and artistically inspiring. While our children inform our art, our art informs our children and the steady current of energy generated from the two creates a distinct and flourished experience.
While Diametrically Composed revels in the exuberance of being a mother and an artist, the work also confronts the notion that motherhood and professional life can be limiting factors in their interaction, in ways that fatherhood and professional life are not necessarily. The work aims to artistically probe and unpack this double standard.
The artists of Diametrically Composed are mothers and renown artists in their field. They include composers Paola Prestini, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Valerie Coleman, multi-dimensional mezzo-soprano and composer Alicia Hall Moran, flutist/composer Allison Loggins-Hull and pianist Gabriela Martinez. Their contributions reflect personal experiences, exploring diverse themes related to being a mother and an artist. Diametrically Composed reaches beyond the typical flute and piano recital, providing an immersive performance experience incorporating recited text, narratives and points-of-view of mothers from varied artistic professions.
Diametrically Composed will premiere in NYC in the 2018-19 season, followed by touring through 2020 and beyond. The music of Diametrically Composed will be released as an album, with a portion of proceeds going to organizations that serve to empower women.
“Run-On” for two flutes and electronics, by Allison Loggins-Hull. Recorded by Flutronix (Nathalie Joachim and Allison Loggins-Hull), March 2013.
“Pale As Centuries,” by Sarah Kirkland Snider. Performed and recorded by NOW Ensemble (flute, clarinet, electric guitar, bass and piano) from the album “Dreamfall,” released May 2015 by New Amsterdam Records.
Start and End Dates
09/10/2018 — 06/30/2019
New York, New York