Portland’s “Fear No Music” ensemble in program inspired by 2018 Kavanaugh hearings

Posted on: September 18, 2019

“As Portland composer Kenji Bunch watched last year’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which included accusations of sexual assault, he ‘had this weird idea of a concert’ based on the hearings,” writes Brett Campbell in Tuesday’s (9/17) Oregonian (Portland). “Bunch, artistic director of Portland new music ensemble Fear No Music, mused about the notion on Facebook. Immediately, New York composer Daniel Felsenfeld endorsed the idea. So did others, including fellow Oregon composer Andrea Reinkemeyer. The three picked eight contemporary composers, including four from Portland, to write music for ‘Hearings’—the opening concert in a Fear No Music season dedicated to new classical music that responds to today’s social issues…. Much of the concert’s music incorporates actual stories…. Reinkemeyer’s ‘Opening Up’ weaves narrated excerpts of [Christine Blasey] Ford’s testimony among phrases from a string quartet…. Reinkemeyer and Bunch … believe classical music brings unique authority to bear on today’s issues.” Says Bunch, “I really hope people can see newly composed music as an opportunity for increased empathy and understanding about the human condition, and that it can make it easier to be on the same planet as each other. It can bring us together.”

Posted September 18, 2019