Projects and Peacebuilding
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
~ Maya Angelou ~
Projects across Disciplines:
Background: While the majority of her formal training is in classical violin and piano, Frances also has a love for singing, dance, movement and the visual arts. She finds creative work most engaging in the "in-between spaces" where these disciplines meet. She writes music for theatre and film, plays for dancers, and has studied improv. movement theatre and yoga, ceramics and painting.
Current and Upcoming:
Available for hire to compose for theatre, dance, performance art collaborations, and creative coaching.
Building Peace through Music?
Frances received an early wake-up call to the disparities of power that play out between national/cultural and racial groups. As a child in Kenya, she witnessed violence towards those who have no voice in the ruling systems, and later in life witnessed a different form of the same story in the USA with gender, race and class. For years she has struggled with questions of how to break cycles of oppression. She continues to look for ways to offer music that will bring more healing and balance.
I also draw from the wealth of wisdom found in traditions throughout the African continent where communities still dance, drum and sing together. As a child, drumming and singing lulled me to sleep but it wasn't until later I began to understand and articulate the vision of music as central to building healthy relations rather than just a means of entertainment.
Frances is now part of a collaborative network of peacebuilder-artists through her graduate studies in Conflict Transformation at Eastern Mennonite University. They've been exploring the many ways art and aesthetic experience can be vital in the work of building and restoring peace individually, in local communities, and internationally.
Here are some of the wonderful individuals I've been working with and what they are up to:
"With assistance from artists and cultural workers, many people who have survived the trauma of war are finding ways to express their suffering and give shape to experiences too horrible for words. Former enemies are rediscovering each other’s humanity. Supported by the structures of rituals and the arts, they are addressing painful history and grappling with conflicting narratives in ways that help them, gradually, to build the trust they need to cooperate in the reconstruction of their societies."
-Cynthia Cohen, professor at Brandeis University