Here is the final version of my thesis from Kungliga Musikhögskolan that was published in May of this year. It is in English, so yes! You too can understand it! It is called “Collaborative Storytelling through Contemporary Composition: Examining participation in the creation and performance of meaningful works through Judith Weir’s woman.life.song” and hopefully is interesting to you too. I loved writing it and digging into what it means to be a musician, singer, feminist, etc. A big thanks to my friend Sara Ebadi who helped me edit it!

Here’s the abstract:

Through examining Judith Weir’s woman.life.song (2000), the work presented in this written reflection is centered on the power of collaboration and context to create meaningful art and music that express important and often underrepresented experiences. Through a musical and sociological analysis of this piece, it is examined how the personal is political and how the creation of music and art are therefore inherently political projects. This paper argues that musicians have a responsibility to consciously select our repertoire: a conscience based upon an understanding of intersectionality. Such consciousness must take into account structures of sexism and racism, which positions music in its socio-political context and actively challenges the concept of “quality” as it is constructed in the art music canon. Placing the composer and authors within their broader socio-political contexts, it is argued that lifting pieces such woman.life.song are important contributions of a musician’s participation in music. This paper draws upon work in sociology that centers on identity to examine how structures of power impact the voices that are heard and that are represented in the musical canon.

 

 

 

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