Behind the Curtain

by The Witches

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about

"Behind the Curtain: New Music on Women" grew out of an interest in exploring and celebrating the complex roles that women have performed in and for the arts. The exalted positions of creator and interpreter (composer and performer) have historically been discouraged in women. However, many women gave crucial support and encouragement to the rising artists of their times, and if they lacked the social space to break public artistic grounds themselves, they did have a profound impact in the development of their arts communities through their choices in mentorship and support. This was the world in which salon culture flourished; we are interested in how salon culture evolved and how it has and can become inclusive to all.

For this set of commissions, we asked our collaborators to simply choose a woman who inspired them, or a topic about women, and create a piece honoring that woman or topic. The results are six personal and unique musical stories which we are thrilled to present to you. We have learned immensely from each piece and hope to share that knowledge."
--The Witches

credits

released October 19, 2017

All tracks performed by The Witches (Louna Dekker-Vargas, flute/vocals and Ledah Finck, violin/vocals)

Track 4 performed with Kate Amrine, trumpet

Track 1 composed by Ruby Fulton
Track 2 composed by D. Edward Davis
Track 3 composed by Sam Torres
Track 4 composed by Ledah Finck
Track 5 composed by Anna Meadors
Track 6 composed by Adam O'Farrill

All tracks (except for #4) recorded by Edwin Huet at First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, MD, and mixed/mastered by Kenzo Audio

Track 4 recorded at Peabody Institute and mixed/mastered by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio in NY

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The Witches Baltimore, Maryland

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Track Name: Only a Little Taller
THE CONCERT
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

No, I will go alone.
I will come back when it's over.
Yes, of course I love you.
No, it will not be long.
Why may you not come with me?
You are too much my lover.
You would put yourself
Between me and song.

If I go alone,
Quiet and suavely clothed,
My body will die in its chair,
And over my head a flame,
A mind that is twice my own,
Will mark with icy mirth
The wise advance and retreat
Of armies without a country,
Storming a nameless gate,
Hurling terrible javelins down
From the shouting wall of a singing town
Where no women wait!
Armies clean of love and hate,
Marching lines of pitiless sound
Climbing hills to the sun and hurling
Golden spears to the ground!
Up the lines a silver runner
Bearing a banner whereon is scored
The milk and steel of a bloodless wound
Healed at length by the sword!

You and I have nothing to do with music.
We may not make of music a filigree frame,
Within which you and I,
Tenderly glad we came,
Sit smiling, hand in hand.

Come now, be content.
I will come back to you, I swear I will;
And you will know me still.
I shall be only a little taller
Than when I went.
Track Name: Hill and Holler
"Mountain Mama Dream"

The night comes slowly
as I walk the back woods and
gather compost for my garden


The sky lights up with vivid colors
I lay back on the grass
to see the sky show. . . and then,


eat my dinner, read the Green Tab,
slowly drink blackberry wine and
become one with my inner nature


my dream does a wild hillbilly dance
with sweet touch and pure emotions
I do not awake easilyMountain Mama Dream

The night comes slowly
as I walk the back woods and
gather compost for my garden


The sky lights up with vivid colors
I lay back on the grass
to see the sky show. . . and then,


eat my dinner, read the Green Tab,
slowly drink blackberry wine and
become one with my inner nature


my dream does a wild hillbilly dance
with sweet touch and pure emotions
I do not awake easily

-Paula Finck, 1981

"What makes a city girl move to the middle of nowhere?" (excerpt)

Plant me in a forest of poplars
next to butterfly weeds
down a dirt road to a meadow
where the sun sprinkles its laughter

-Paula Finck, 2012

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