Rebekah Driscoll

CD RELEASES

Rebekah Driscoll

BIOGRAPHY
COMPOSITIONS
CDs
VIDEOS
NEWS POST

REBEKAH DRISCOLL (b.1980) enjoys composing for unusual combinations of instruments and voices, exploring the connections between language and music. She often writes poetry for her vocal works or constructs a text from diverse and sometimes multilingual sources. Recent projects address societal issues, such as inequality and environmental stewardship, from a perspective that is both thoroughly researched and intensely personal.
Major works include Apart/ment, a song cycle for four singers and four instrumentalists on the theme of homelessness, and Ill on a Journey, a multilingual oratorio about navigating life with chronic illness. From Liberty and Fragrant Harbors, an album of her vocal ensemble music released in 2016, was described by Textura as “distinguished on compositional and performance grounds, [and] marked by the socially conscious mindset Driscoll brings to her texts.”

Originally from New Hampshire, USA, Ms. Driscoll holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, City University of New York. Please visit www.rebekahdriscoll.com for more information.

Who will cry for her?

Year: 2020

Duration (in minutes): 7'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: mezzo soprano

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: The text for *Who will cry for her?* was written by Rev. Kathleen W. Haynes in April 2020, after she officiated a funeral which, due to COVID-19 restrictions, was sparsely attended and socially-distanced. During this time, mourners are compelled to find ways to connect with loved ones without the traditional practice of physically gathering together.
Vocal range: G3–D5. Arrangements for other voice types and piano are in progress.

What Pain Wants

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): 5'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo voice(s) with piano

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: The text for this song is adapted from Sonya Huber’s poem “What Pain Wants”, which I found in her book Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System. Having lived with chronic pain myself since the age of eighteen, I related strongly to the idea of pain as a constant companion, a sort of being with a cryptic personality.
For my first few years of illness I viewed pain as an enemy to be defeated, or failing that, an intruder to be resolutely ignored; but ultimately these approaches brought me more stress and despair than the pain itself. I have a greater sense of peace imagining pain as a child who will never learn to behave rationally and sometimes just needs to be indulged. Maybe pain isn’t any happier about our relationship than I am, but we’re stuck together and we have to find a way to get along.
This piece is available in two transpositions: soprano (range C#4-F#5) and mezzo-soprano (A#3-D#5).

On Being Interrupted

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): 4

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: mezzo soprano

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: For decades, studies have documented that men interrupt women who are speaking, particularly in the workplace, with much higher frequency than they interrupt other men (or than women interrupt anyone).* There are many theories as to why this may be and how to remedy it, but the incidence of interruption does not seem to have changed much over the years. This piece lists some of the tactics “experts” recommend women use to avoid being interrupted.
Additional strategies include teaming up with other women (and sometimes male allies) to point out when a colleague is interrupted and ask that she be allowed to finish her thought. But this is obviously not feasible in situations involving one woman among a group of men who do not acknowledge any bias—unfortunately still a common circumstance in 2019.
* This phenomenon likely applies to other marginalized people as well, but the research I’ve seen focused on gender in binary terms.
Vocal range: A♭3–D5.

What Pain Wants

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): 5'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo voice(s) with piano

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: The text for this song is adapted from Sonya Huber’s poem “What Pain Wants”, which I found in her book Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System. Having lived with chronic pain myself since the age of eighteen, I related strongly to the idea of pain as a constant companion, a sort of being with a cryptic personality.
For my first few years of illness I viewed pain as an enemy to be defeated, or failing that, an intruder to be resolutely ignored; but ultimately these approaches brought me more stress and despair than the pain itself. I have a greater sense of peace imagining pain as a child who will never learn to behave rationally and sometimes just needs to be indulged. Maybe pain isn’t any happier about our relationship than I am, but we’re stuck together and we have to find a way to get along.

September: Mt. Carrigain

Year: 2017

Duration (in minutes): 7'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo voice(s) with chamber ensemble

Instruments: viola, violin

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: Mt. Carrigain is a 4,683-foot peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, which I climbed in September 2014. It was my 43rd of New Hampshire’s 48 peaks over 4,000 feet, the last before my worsening health made this kind of hiking no longer possible. This piece will be included in *Ill on a Journey*, a multilingual opera/oratorio about navigating life with chronic illness.

January: Brin's Mesa

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): 4'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: violin

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: This piece was inspired by a site in Arizona’s Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness, where in 2006 a campfire triggered the devastation of 4,000 acres. Visiting ten years later, the difference between the areas on either side of the fire line was still stark. I mourned the loss of the mesa’s trees but also noted new life slowly returning.

Iwa Ni

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): 8'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: electronic and computer works, solo woodwind instrument

Instruments: any woodwind, electronics, flute, tape

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: The title Iwa Ni comes from a poem by 17th-century Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō. By itself, iwa ni means something like “into the rock”. Bashō wrote the poem at the mountain temple of Risshakuji, as part of his 1,500-mile journey around northern Japan.
This piece may be performed with or without the fixed media ("tape"). The unaccompanied version is structured as three short movements; the electroacoustic version is a single long movement.

Climate Honesty

Year: 2015

Duration (in minutes): 5'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo voice(s) a cappella

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: I wrote Climate Honesty around the time U.S. Senator James Inhofe brought a snowball to work in an attempt to deny the existence of climate change. My song is not addressed to the senator—I have no words for him—but rather to those who want to believe what people like him have to say, not only on this subject but on any where it is comfortable yet irresponsible to be ignorant.

Testing the Second Breath

Year: 2014

Duration (in minutes): 9'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: electronic and computer works, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, woodwind ensemble

Instruments: any woodwind, bassoon, electronics, flute, tape

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: Testing the Second Breath refers to the maxim that half the Earth’s oxygen is generated by marine life. “Take two breaths,” conservationists say. “The second comes from the ocean.” Of course, we could attribute the first breath to the ocean’s phytoplankton and the second to trees and other land plants; the sentence structure illustrates our tendency to prioritize the things we can most easily see, and the environment where we spend the most time.
The voices on the recording describe various ways human beings have affected the ocean: overfishing, acidification, plastics pollution, contamination from construction, oil and nuclear spills. These activities have created a “quiet crisis” which endangers many lifeforms, on land as well as in the sea, and yet is not obviously felt by most people in developed countries. Solutions will require sustained attention to the consequences of our lifestyles—especially in areas that are difficult to see.

La traición de las imágenes

Year: 2013

Duration (in minutes): 18'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, solo voice(s) with chamber ensemble

Instruments: any female voice, any medium voice, any string, any voice, any woodwind, contrabass, flute, mezzo soprano, piano, viola

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: This song cycle is my response to eight surrealist works by René Magritte, whose famous The Treachery of Images highlights the impossibility of art to truly reflect reality. Magritte described his creations as “images which conceal nothing [and] evoke mystery… [they do] not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either; it is unknowable.” I have tried to capture the same spirit of mystery in both the words and the music.
(The Soundcloud link is the 3rd movement.)

In Which They Are Received

Year: 2011

Duration (in minutes): 6'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: electronic and computer works, solo woodwind instrument, woodwind ensemble, woodwind sextet

Instruments: any woodwind, clarinet

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: This extended 6-part canon was originally written for 6 clarinets. Each instrumentalist plays the same material, but the impact of these identical statements varies with the surrounding musical context: some entrances produce tension, others merge smoothly with the prevailing atmosphere, and others barely register as the listener’s attention is concentrated elsewhere. Alternate versions are available for 6 violas or 6 bassoons, and additional arrangements are in progress. The piece can also be performed by a single instrumentalist with electronic delay.

Out of Her Place

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 4'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: Out of Her Place, for unaccompanied mixed voices, was inspired by the iconic women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony. The first and last stanzas of the text are from speeches she gave at women’s rights conventions; the middle stanza contains lines from her personal letters.

Sisters Face West

Year: 2008

Duration (in minutes): 7'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: any string, cello, violin

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: This piece was inspired by two sisters dealing with the loss of a loved one. Each instrument represents one of the sisters, who initially have very different attitudes and cannot communicate with each other. As the piece progresses the two lines interact, working through various stages of grief together.

From Liberty and Fragrant Harbors

From Liberty and Fragrant Harbors is an album of vocal ensemble music by composer Rebekah Driscoll. Written partially in New York and partially in Hong Kong, these songs offer differing perspectives on issues like climate change and criminal justice, juxtaposed with more personal works hinting at loss, homesickness and gratitude.
Performers include the internationally-acclaimed GHOSTLIGHT Chorus, violist Erin Wight, and soprano Mary Hubbell.

Composers: Rebekah Driscoll

Label's Website: www.rebekahdriscoll.com/

Buy URL: https://rebekahdriscoll.bandcamp.com/releases

Buy URL 2: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/from-liberty-fragrant-harbors/id1094923485

What Pain Wants

Composer: Rebekah Driscoll

Description: Performed by soprano Christine Cornell and pianist Fang-Yi Chu, with text by Sonya Huber about living with chronic pain.

Video URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7a5Syexogw

BIOGRAPHY
REBEKAH DRISCOLL (b.1980) enjoys composing for unusual combinations of instruments and voices, exploring the connections between language and music. She often writes poetry for her vocal works or constructs a text from diverse and sometimes multilingual sources. Recent projects address societal issues, such as inequality and environmental stewardship, from a perspective that is both thoroughly researched and intensely personal.
Major works include Apart/ment, a song cycle for four singers and four instrumentalists on the theme of homelessness, and Ill on a Journey, a multilingual oratorio about navigating life with chronic illness. From Liberty and Fragrant Harbors, an album of her vocal ensemble music released in 2016, was described by Textura as “distinguished on compositional and performance grounds, [and] marked by the socially conscious mindset Driscoll brings to her texts.”

Originally from New Hampshire, USA, Ms. Driscoll holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, City University of New York. Please visit www.rebekahdriscoll.com for more information.
COMPOSITIONS

Who will cry for her?

Year: 2020

Duration (in minutes): 7'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: mezzo soprano

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: The text for *Who will cry for her?* was written by Rev. Kathleen W. Haynes in April 2020, after she officiated a funeral which, due to COVID-19 restrictions, was sparsely attended and socially-distanced. During this time, mourners are compelled to find ways to connect with loved ones without the traditional practice of physically gathering together.
Vocal range: G3–D5. Arrangements for other voice types and piano are in progress.

What Pain Wants

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): 5'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo voice(s) with piano

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: The text for this song is adapted from Sonya Huber’s poem “What Pain Wants”, which I found in her book Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System. Having lived with chronic pain myself since the age of eighteen, I related strongly to the idea of pain as a constant companion, a sort of being with a cryptic personality.
For my first few years of illness I viewed pain as an enemy to be defeated, or failing that, an intruder to be resolutely ignored; but ultimately these approaches brought me more stress and despair than the pain itself. I have a greater sense of peace imagining pain as a child who will never learn to behave rationally and sometimes just needs to be indulged. Maybe pain isn’t any happier about our relationship than I am, but we’re stuck together and we have to find a way to get along.
This piece is available in two transpositions: soprano (range C#4-F#5) and mezzo-soprano (A#3-D#5).

On Being Interrupted

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): 4

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: mezzo soprano

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: For decades, studies have documented that men interrupt women who are speaking, particularly in the workplace, with much higher frequency than they interrupt other men (or than women interrupt anyone).* There are many theories as to why this may be and how to remedy it, but the incidence of interruption does not seem to have changed much over the years. This piece lists some of the tactics “experts” recommend women use to avoid being interrupted.
Additional strategies include teaming up with other women (and sometimes male allies) to point out when a colleague is interrupted and ask that she be allowed to finish her thought. But this is obviously not feasible in situations involving one woman among a group of men who do not acknowledge any bias—unfortunately still a common circumstance in 2019.
* This phenomenon likely applies to other marginalized people as well, but the research I’ve seen focused on gender in binary terms.
Vocal range: A♭3–D5.

What Pain Wants

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): 5'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo voice(s) with piano

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: The text for this song is adapted from Sonya Huber’s poem “What Pain Wants”, which I found in her book Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System. Having lived with chronic pain myself since the age of eighteen, I related strongly to the idea of pain as a constant companion, a sort of being with a cryptic personality.
For my first few years of illness I viewed pain as an enemy to be defeated, or failing that, an intruder to be resolutely ignored; but ultimately these approaches brought me more stress and despair than the pain itself. I have a greater sense of peace imagining pain as a child who will never learn to behave rationally and sometimes just needs to be indulged. Maybe pain isn’t any happier about our relationship than I am, but we’re stuck together and we have to find a way to get along.

September: Mt. Carrigain

Year: 2017

Duration (in minutes): 7'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo voice(s) with chamber ensemble

Instruments: viola, violin

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: Mt. Carrigain is a 4,683-foot peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, which I climbed in September 2014. It was my 43rd of New Hampshire’s 48 peaks over 4,000 feet, the last before my worsening health made this kind of hiking no longer possible. This piece will be included in *Ill on a Journey*, a multilingual opera/oratorio about navigating life with chronic illness.

January: Brin's Mesa

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): 4'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: violin

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: This piece was inspired by a site in Arizona’s Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness, where in 2006 a campfire triggered the devastation of 4,000 acres. Visiting ten years later, the difference between the areas on either side of the fire line was still stark. I mourned the loss of the mesa’s trees but also noted new life slowly returning.

Iwa Ni

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): 8'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: electronic and computer works, solo woodwind instrument

Instruments: any woodwind, electronics, flute, tape

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: The title Iwa Ni comes from a poem by 17th-century Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō. By itself, iwa ni means something like “into the rock”. Bashō wrote the poem at the mountain temple of Risshakuji, as part of his 1,500-mile journey around northern Japan.
This piece may be performed with or without the fixed media ("tape"). The unaccompanied version is structured as three short movements; the electroacoustic version is a single long movement.

Climate Honesty

Year: 2015

Duration (in minutes): 5'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo voice(s) a cappella

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: I wrote Climate Honesty around the time U.S. Senator James Inhofe brought a snowball to work in an attempt to deny the existence of climate change. My song is not addressed to the senator—I have no words for him—but rather to those who want to believe what people like him have to say, not only on this subject but on any where it is comfortable yet irresponsible to be ignorant.

Testing the Second Breath

Year: 2014

Duration (in minutes): 9'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: electronic and computer works, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, woodwind ensemble

Instruments: any woodwind, bassoon, electronics, flute, tape

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: Testing the Second Breath refers to the maxim that half the Earth’s oxygen is generated by marine life. “Take two breaths,” conservationists say. “The second comes from the ocean.” Of course, we could attribute the first breath to the ocean’s phytoplankton and the second to trees and other land plants; the sentence structure illustrates our tendency to prioritize the things we can most easily see, and the environment where we spend the most time.
The voices on the recording describe various ways human beings have affected the ocean: overfishing, acidification, plastics pollution, contamination from construction, oil and nuclear spills. These activities have created a “quiet crisis” which endangers many lifeforms, on land as well as in the sea, and yet is not obviously felt by most people in developed countries. Solutions will require sustained attention to the consequences of our lifestyles—especially in areas that are difficult to see.

La traición de las imágenes

Year: 2013

Duration (in minutes): 18'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, solo voice(s) with chamber ensemble

Instruments: any female voice, any medium voice, any string, any voice, any woodwind, contrabass, flute, mezzo soprano, piano, viola

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: This song cycle is my response to eight surrealist works by René Magritte, whose famous The Treachery of Images highlights the impossibility of art to truly reflect reality. Magritte described his creations as “images which conceal nothing [and] evoke mystery… [they do] not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either; it is unknowable.” I have tried to capture the same spirit of mystery in both the words and the music.
(The Soundcloud link is the 3rd movement.)

In Which They Are Received

Year: 2011

Duration (in minutes): 6'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: electronic and computer works, solo woodwind instrument, woodwind ensemble, woodwind sextet

Instruments: any woodwind, clarinet

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: This extended 6-part canon was originally written for 6 clarinets. Each instrumentalist plays the same material, but the impact of these identical statements varies with the surrounding musical context: some entrances produce tension, others merge smoothly with the prevailing atmosphere, and others barely register as the listener’s attention is concentrated elsewhere. Alternate versions are available for 6 violas or 6 bassoons, and additional arrangements are in progress. The piece can also be performed by a single instrumentalist with electronic delay.

Out of Her Place

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 4'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: Out of Her Place, for unaccompanied mixed voices, was inspired by the iconic women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony. The first and last stanzas of the text are from speeches she gave at women’s rights conventions; the middle stanza contains lines from her personal letters.

Sisters Face West

Year: 2008

Duration (in minutes): 7'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: any string, cello, violin

Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music

Description: This piece was inspired by two sisters dealing with the loss of a loved one. Each instrument represents one of the sisters, who initially have very different attitudes and cannot communicate with each other. As the piece progresses the two lines interact, working through various stages of grief together.

CDs

From Liberty and Fragrant Harbors

From Liberty and Fragrant Harbors is an album of vocal ensemble music by composer Rebekah Driscoll. Written partially in New York and partially in Hong Kong, these songs offer differing perspectives on issues like climate change and criminal justice, juxtaposed with more personal works hinting at loss, homesickness and gratitude.
Performers include the internationally-acclaimed GHOSTLIGHT Chorus, violist Erin Wight, and soprano Mary Hubbell.

Composers: Rebekah Driscoll

Label's Website: www.rebekahdriscoll.com/

Buy URL 2: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/from-liberty-fragrant-harbors/id1094923485

VIDEOS

What Pain Wants

Composer: Rebekah Driscoll

Description: Performed by soprano Christine Cornell and pianist Fang-Yi Chu, with text by Sonya Huber about living with chronic pain.

Video URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7a5Syexogw

NEWS POST