Monday, May 22, 2017

Disarm Hate: A Musical Response to Gun Violence

VOICES CARRY

With what seems like a never-ending barrage of political missteps and gaffes, it can be hard to keep focused on the issues that matter. Take gun control, for example. It seems like the only time it’s ever really an issue for the suits in Washington is when something really tragic occurs. 
The fact that Disarm Hate: A Musical Response to Gun Violence isn’t coming immediately on the heels of a tragic shooting incident is precisely what makes it so important. Rather, San Diego Pro Arte Voices—a local chamber choir—is holding a special concert on Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day, naturally) in order to help fund an ongoing recording project centered on gun violence. 
“After countless mass shootings over the past years—Virginia Tech, Newtown, Aurora, San Bernardino, Orlando… there are too many to list—I found myself searching for how to feel and how to make sense of it all,” says Pro Arte Voices Artistic Director Patrick Walders. “The overarching feeling was helplessness. What could I do?”  
What he did, along with the help of eight composers from all over the U.S., was orchestrate new music that tackled the issue of gun violence. Once it is finished, the completed album will feature these new compositions, which are categorized in what Walders calls the “human emotional responses while processing acts of gun violence”: Shock and Anger, Grief and Sorrow, and lastly, Hope and Healing.
“Music and poetry can help bring healing to the soul,” says  Walders. “This commissioning and recording project has the ability to reach people around the world who seek hope, healing, inspiration, empathy, sympathy, company and a common thread within humanity.”
The Disarm Hate concert, which will be held at 4 p.m. at the St. Andrew’s by the Sea Episcopal Church (1050 Thomas Ave.), will include some of these compositions as well as guest speakers from the Brady Campaign in between the music. The concert is free, but donations for the ongoing recording project will be welcomed. See sdproartevoices.org for more info.

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