Silent Voices (promo above) premiered at the BAM Opera House on May 12-13, 2017 to rave reviews. The New York Times hailed the work saying, “The music expresses at the most cellular level a process of voice-finding and courage building.”
The Latest Update
Silent Voices Final Project Update
SILENT VOICES UPDATE
Brooklyn Youth Chorus is proud to announce that the first previews of Silent Voices have begun.
Silent Voices Update
Brooklyn Youth Chorus is excited to report that Silent Voices is underway and we look forward to premiering the production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Opera House on May 12, 2017.
We are already making progress with the production. We have commissioned a final group of 12 composers to create works that will harness the power of youth to create change on themes including gender, race, and sustained inequity. Composers include: Sahba Aminikia, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Ellen Reid, Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Kamala Sankaram, Jeff Beal, Rhiannon Giddens, Paul Miller/DJ Spooky, Toshi Reagon, and Alicia Hall Moran.
We have also engaged several new writers to help us generate content including, Hilton Als (New Yorker), Claudia Rankine (Citizen), and Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow). BYC is excited to be offering 2 “First Look” previews of Silent Voices at National Sawdust on November 20, 2016 and at the Florence Gould Theater (FIAF) during the Prototype Festival January 14-15, 2017.
Check out the link to hear so quietly by Caroline Shaw. One of the newest pieces created for Silent Voices, so quietly explores the process of finding your voice and gaining the courage to speak.
Brooklyn Youth Chorus is very thankful for the continued support of New Music USA for making this project possible. We look forward to posting another update soon.
Brooklyn Youth Chorus (BYC) seeks support for “Silent Voices,” a year-long project encompassing a series of live music theater and radio performances on the themes of self agency, empowerment, and developing one’s individual voice as a foundation of identity. Silent Voices is being developed by BYC’s Founder and Artistic Director Dianne Berkun Menaker, and directed by Kristin Marting, co-founder and Artistic Director of HERE Art Center, working with a team of composers and artists who are diverse both in identity and in genre. Committed composers include Iranian-American composer Sahba Aminikia, Armenian-American composer Mary Kouyoumdjian, Ellen Reid, Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Kamala Sankaram, and Jeff Beal. The work will be performed by BYC alongside a range of guest performers. Lyrics and other texts will be drawn from original writings, interviews, radio archives, historical texts, and material generated from story slams hosted with The Moth and workshops with Speak Truth To Power, a human rights education program. BYC will engage its whole community – including choral training divisions and all three ensembles – in the process of creating and performing Silent Voices.
Silent Voices will share the stories of individuals who have been silenced or diminished by cultural, social, religious or familial circumstances. The project’s songs and stories will draw on the rich personal lives of ordinary individuals, cultural icons and historical figures, interpreted through the visions of contemporary artists and composers. Each concert will focus on issues that are relevant to the diverse young people of our chorus—race, sexual objectification, inequity and social disparity.
Silent Voices will premiere in a series of concerts throughout BYC’s 25th anniversary season, beginning in October 2016 and culminating with a final concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Opera House in May 2017. Additional venues will include New York Public Radio’s The Greene Space, National Sawdust, and Merkin Concert Hall, as well as community-based venues.
Amplifying the project’s impact, BYC will be the Artist in Residence at New York Public Radio/WQXR for the entire 2016-17 season. The WQXR residency will give BYC a citywide platform for sharing Silent Voices with a broad public. Each concert will be broadcast on New York Public Radio/WQXR, and BYC and collaborators will take part in a range of on-air programming that links to the project.
“Anni’s Constant,” by Caroline Shaw, was one of 14 sections of Black Mountain Songs, co-commissioned by Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Brooklyn Academy of Music with support from New Music USA and premiered at BAM’s Next Wave Festival in November 2014.
This sample demonstrates the production level planned for Silent Voices, which will also be a fully staged production with costumes and stage elements, and will be performed at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House among other venues.
“Become Who I Am” addresses confidence, insecurity, and gender inequality, with audio interviews and a libretto comprised of the words of the choristers themselves. Kouyoumdjian’s composition for Silent Voices will draw upon this work, and will present conflicts that girls around the world face – life as a child refugee, leaving home for better opportunity, early marriage, living in a culture that discouragesyoung girls from going to school, living amid gang violence, etc.
Brooklyn Youth Chorus performs Nico Muhly’s “Fielding Dawson in Franz Kline’s Studio” from the groundbreaking production, Black Mountain Songs. Recorded live in concert at BAM, Nov 20-23, 2014, as part of the BAM Next Wave Festival.
This sample provides a sample of work composed for BYC by Nico Muhly, who is also composing work for Silent Voices. As with Anni’s Constant, it also demonstrates the production level planned for Silent Voices
Start and End Dates
09/01/2016 — 06/30/2017
New York, New York