I am guided by the strong women in my life. My mom’s side of the family had a unique matrilineal structure, in which the mother’s name was passed down to her children rather than the father’s. I am blessed to have been surrounded by many brilliant, beautiful, and resilient women – women who have weathered grief and loss in a deeply patriarchal world. And through it all, they always carry themselves with a quiet grace – soft but never silent. As I navigate daughterhood, sisterhood, and my own sense of self, it is the lived experience of these women that guide me.
The Mother is Standing draws inspiration from the Stabat Mater Christian hymn to Mary, which describes her suffering as Jesus’s mother during his crucifixion. While based off the hymn’s traditional chant melody, this piece examines the love between mother and child in a wider context. I am not Christian, and I am not a mother, but I recognized a strength in the story of Mary and realized I had seen it in the women in my family. Even though there are many kinds of mothers who each face vastly different challenges, this strength is one that exists in women across cultures and religions.
This piece is dedicated to my mom, who constantly teaches me through her example. Many thanks to the Bravo! Vail Festival and the New York Philharmonic for commissioning this piece.
July 19th, 2023
Bravo! Vail Music Festival concert:
New York Philharmonic: “Chick Corea’s Trombone Concerto”
Performed by the New York Philharmonic (Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor)
Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail, Colorado