Fractures - a song cycle

New Project Announcement: FRACTURES

I am happy to announce a new artivist project I will start composing very soon. It’s called Fractures, a song cycle about the harmful practice of fracking. Thanks to the generous support from the Ontario Arts Council, acclaimed soprano, Meredith Hall, has commissioned me to compose 13 songs for piano and voice that will make up the cycle.

I am honoured and excited to be collaborating with Frank for FRACTURES. To create new art which focuses attention on fracking is both daunting and invigorating.
Artistically, I want to use my skills as a singer to reveal truths about the environmental impacts of fracking. I wish to communicate a wide range of human emotions and ideas on the subject, to sing with empathy for both sides of the controversy.
Frank is a dream collaborator. His music is sensitive, beautiful and powerful. It draws from the deep sincerity of his convictions, and his passionate desire to bring awareness to important subjects.
Personally, I hope that by joining my voice to Frank’s music, I can move hearts and minds and inspire people to take action on climate change. I am a mother and I feel such fear and grief and shame for the irreparable environmental damage my generation has not prevented. But I also feel that both courage and hopeful actions are required of me. This project gives me a rare chance to create truly meaningful art that will, I hope, motivate humans to do better.
– Meredith Hall

Never heard of fracking? Watch this short (and objective) video about how it works and the detrimental impact it has on the environment…

I feel so grateful that the following contemporary American and Canadian poets have allowed me to set their poignant stories and perspectives about this ecologically damaging action to music:

Kathleen Burke, Michelle Donahue, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Lilace Mellin Guignard, Wayne Mennecke, Rachel Morgan, Mary Heather Noble, Christine Pennylegion, Michelle Regalado Deatrick, Stephanie Schultz, Mark Trechock, Susan Truxell Sauter

The idea for this project first started to percolate in 2016 when I was giving a presentation about environmental music at the Canadian New Music Network (CNMN) Forum in Ottawa and I chatted with Suzie LeBlanc, another great Canadian soprano. I then found the FRACTURE anthology (essays, poems and stories on fracking in America), and it all started coming together.

Fracking is an issue that often flies under the radar in the discussion about energy options since natural gas burns “cleaner” than other fossil fuels. But in my research and in preparation for this project, I’ve learned that the resources required to extract natural gas through hydraulic fracturing are staggering and the impact it has on the land and people who live around fracking operations is truly heartbreaking. My hope is that our song cycle will humanize the issue and tell the stories of these people.

I feel so privileged to be working on this important project with Meredith and these talented poets. We must use our collective artistic voices to bring about awareness and provoke change so we can live on a healthier planet. I start composing in the next few weeks… Sign up to my e-newsletter to get updates on our progress.

Fractures - a song cycle

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