Date of Award

Spring 4-22-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Department

Music

First Advisor

Gregory Gentry

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Swanson

Abstract

Never One Thing is about the personal revolution of accepting and caring for all parts of ourselves. It was inspired by the Walt Whitman verse; I am large, I contain multitudes. “It came to me as a desperate plea and cry to be free from societal confines, and also free from the pain of our internal critic. To be strong, to be powerful, to be angry, to be a fighter- these are not things women are often encouraged to identify with,” says mid-west songwriter and composer May Erlewine. Never One Thing is an anthem for anyone who has ever felt parts of themselves disowned or ostracized. Through connecting with the text, the singer, conductor, and audience are invited to begin the process of reclaiming and healing those parts of themselves that are, at the same time both vulnerable and powerful. Never One Thing is from Mother Lion, Erlewine’s latest album (of a prolific twelve solo albums.) This arrangement is an opportunity for treble choirs to perform empowering music that speaks to the inherent worth of each singer’s individual experience. Clapping, (or if claps overpower the text, a thigh slap would also work well) add to the piece’s rhythmic vitality, and instrumentalists should feel free to improvise as they see fit. Adding simple staging, or visuals (such as projections of the many versions of herself by artist Frida Kahlo) is encouraged. ~ Corie Brown, Boulder, CO., 2019

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