Shepherdess | After

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Classical: Chamber Music Classical: Vocal Music Moods: Type: Experimental
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by Shepherdess

Using excerpts from the real letter read to her rapist, Brock Turner, at trial, this anonymous rape survivor examines rape culture in America in the 21st century.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
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  Song Share Time Download
1. After: I. Assault
4:11 album only
2. After: II. Lighthouse
3:42 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
After (2018) by Joel Thompson (b.1988)
I. Assault
II. Lighthouse

Hajnal Pivnick, violin
Kayleigh Butcher, mezzo soprano

Sound Engineer/Mixing, Ryan Streber, Oktaven Audio
Mastering, Caley Monahon-Ward

"At the end of a moving and powerful letter that she read to her rapist at his sentencing, a brave and selfless woman stated, "to girls everywhere, I am with you." She then quoted Anne Lamott: "Lighthouses don't go running all over an islands looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining." She made it clear that despite dealing with the prolonged trauma of the life-shaking incident and the legal circus that followed, she was choosing to speak her truth in order to provide solace to fellow victims of assault.

This piece, using excerpts from her letter, is an examination of a culture in which these assaults are ubiquitous, a culture in which victims hear, "What were you wearing?" before they hear, "I am with you;" a culture in which the author of this letter was asked to consider her rapist's burgeoning swimming career before her own dignity.

The first movement is comprised of actual questions she was asked in court by her rapists's lawyers. The violin opens the movement stating her trauma and is the pummelled by questions with the intent of blaming her for her own predicament. The second movement is taken from the letter's last paragraph - full of encouragement, comfort, and trust. Thus, the piece represents two different ways of responding to such a crime: one that perpetuates the current culture, and one that asks us to listen, to respect the dignity of every human being, and to do our part to end this scourge of rape and sexual assault."

- Joel Thompson, composer



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