A Collaborative Reflection Written by the Sheer Frost Orchestra Performers.
Each paragraph signifies a different performer submission.
I left late for rehearsal Friday night because we were talking about abortion. I can’t think about abortion anymore without thinking of Louis CK’s most recent special (“I don’t think life is that important”) though now I wonder what my responsibility is when referencing the work of a man who asked young women to watch him masturbate. In rehearsal Friday night I got my period maybe three weeks late and later I learned at least 2 other women got theirs, too. Standing at the elevator Saturday morning one of us said studies show cycle synchronization is a myth. Anyway on Sunday the moments we were onstage could have been the same moments someone called James Levine for comment on allegations that he abused teenage men for decades. Something could be syncing I don’t know what.
on a wire
s c r a tch
sh fr ah
hum strung m
p p p
raised from your orange furlined coffin
laid, laid out o
on the ground
i hear you
unseen electric filaments
this is no colossus
During a time when my mind is constantly troubled and clouded, when the act of existing as female feels so exhausting, rehearsing a piece and performing on a stage with 16 other women was restorative.
I want to play it twenty times more.
There was something about sitting a room filled with visionary femme/women creatives. I wish we could have worked together longer; I wish all my creative spaces had that same dynamic. One of the women read my recent review in which I detail memories of the cycles of pain, violence, and domestic abuse that have filtered through the lives of the women in my bloodline. It’s one thing to hide behind the computer screen, and another for someone to say out loud, ‘I’ve read your pain.’ My face grew red hot, trauma like this stings forever. She didn’t say much about it, neither did I, and we kind of sat in silence for a while. We both understood.
I thought my excitement was a symptom of the fact that I’d get to perform such an important piece one time, on a given night, at a given time. By the end of the first rehearsal, I realized that the performance was just one part of what would be an immersive experience. 17 of us working our wrists into frenzy in order to rage against present day conditions. 17 of us tempering that chaos to near silence in order to demonstrate the difference (or perhaps, it gave us a chance to take a breath and reset because you hadn’t heard us the first time). 17 of us sitting on the floor, listening intently to Marina and to each other. 17 of us made a wall of sound, image, cooperation, and purpose. It will not soon be forgotten. Hugs and drones to the Chicago Sheer Frost Orchestra.
Love, Part of the Whole.