Letters from the Aftermath

A college student walks to their car after a late-night study session. A girl stands in the front row at a concert. A man catches up with an old friend. Four women are separated after arriving at a party. In each of these situations, something goes wrong. Each of these people falls prey to the same tragedy that strikes one in five college-age women, and each one must choose how to deal with the fallout and public opinion about their sexual assault.

Almost everyone is affected by sexual assault and rape culture, whether they themselves have been assaulted or they just continue to pass on the same well-intentioned but poorly formulated “advice.” Many of us live in the space in between, aware of the issue but not bothering to consider the nuances. Letters from the Aftermath is my adventure into the moments in an assault victim’s life that the media and the world would rather ignore. Whose responsibility should it be to prevent assault? How does that conflict with what we hear and say today?

Ultimately, Letters will act as an intermediary, a collection of musical works for various ensembles that are open to interdisciplinary collaboration (particularly with actors and dancers) but also can be presented as standalone pieces. Each installment is story-driven, emphasizing the need for more voices in the conversation about sexual assault. Letters will immerse concertgoers in a victim’s/survivor’s/casualty’s world, drawing the audience in but requesting that they kindly leave their traditions at the door.

Just remember, with assault, there’s only one rule….

Music:

N.B.: works with an asterisk (*) were created during the development of face the mirror.

Watch walking/I’m sorry, Mom featuring the CalArts Contemporary Vocal Ensemble (Gillian Rae Perry and Julie Reames, narrators):

Watch People Talk as performed by The Ensemble at CalArts (Nicholas Deyoe, conductor; Leila Jay, narrator):

Writings:

Below I’m compiling a list of my blog posts and other writings that directly relate to sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other aspects of rape culture.