Hats + Heels
Chamber Music Duo
A REFLECTION AND CELEBRATION OF WOMEN'S CHALLENGES, PERSISTENCE AND GROWTH
2020 marked the 200th anniversary of Susan B. Anthony’s birth and the 100th year since the passing of the 19th Amendment supporting women’s right to vote. In essence, it was the year to celebrate women.
With that in mind, Hats + Heels decided to develop an all-female and non-binary commissioning project. Together, we collaborated with artists to create new interdisciplinary bassoon and harp repertoire that incorporates women-related figures, characters, topics, or ideology.
Our project kicked off in early 2020 as we collaborated with composers/artists Kaitlin Aitken, Ellie Cherry, Amy Nam and Esther Swift to create new works. The repertoire explores the coming of age story of Alice in Wonderland, social movements of French feminists with lack of gender neutral grammar, and poetry of Lola Ridge exploring historic oppression. We combined these works with existing works by Megan Bledsoe-Ward (describing women in politics) and Florence Price (exploring dreams and motherhood) for a virtual concert in Summer of 2020. Fifty percent of the proceeds from that concert went to the local Rochester music education organization, ROCMusic Collaborative.
Click images to enlarge
Megan Bledsoe Ward
To view the full concert, check out our YouTube playlist
Women Are...Part 2
Livestream Concert, 2021
We were so thrilled by the support of Women Are…, we decided to bring additional minds and creative talents to expand the project even further. In 2021, we brainstormed and worked with composers Yi-Ning Lo, Angela Slater, Kalia Vandever and Anna Heflin. These works explore English suffragettes, Hawaiian goddesses, dreamscapes, and being driven mad by love. In these works, our composers have fully embraced our mission, developing interdisciplinary repertoire by utilizing music boxes, pre-recorded sounds, speech, dancers, and even morse code. This culminated in a concert in summer of 2021, with fifty percent of the proceeds going to GirlsRock! Rochester, a nonprofit dedicated to using music as a vehicle for personal growth and positive change for girls, women, and the LGBTQ+ community.