Breaking the Taboo: Song Cycle Gives Birth to a New Perspective

Grammy award-winning composer Libby Larsen will premiere her new work, The Birth Song Cycle, at SongFest 2015 this summer! Sopranos Gwen Coleman Detwiler and Audrey Luna, for whom the work was commissioned, will collaborate with internationally-known pianist Lydia Brown in performing this cutting edge composition, giving a fresh and current perspective on this powerful subject.

Classical song literature touches on the most personal and deeply felt of human experiences.  It brings to flight those human emotions that are beyond words. The profound transformation of childbirth, however, is scarcely treated in the cannon of vocal literature. Meanwhile, the personal and private subject of childbirth and motherhood is emerging in our political landscape and collective conscience.  (In the past year, The New York Times has published over 600 articles on these subjects.)  The Birth Song Cycle explores those human sensations of exuberance and loss, pain and triumph, that are the emotional fabric of childbirth. Through humor and lyricism, Libby Larsen illuminates our humanity with an ingenious blending of her music and the words of modern authors including: Pheobe Damrosch, M. K. Dean, Jennifer Gilmore, Lauren Groff, Langston Hughes, Heidi Pitlor, A. E. Stallings, Cheryl Strayed, Akiko Yosano and Gina Zucker. Her song cycle gives voice to what is seemingly a taboo subject in the cannon of vocal literature. SongFest 2015 is proud and excited to break the taboo and explore this powerful and dynamic subject! June 12th at 7:30pm, Thayer Hall at the Colburn School