Commissioning new multimedia works for solo cello that encourage social change and feminine empowerment through the voices of women and non-binary composers

Forward Music Project (FMP) confronts the audience with a visceral experience of music, light, and stories that explore a range of issues facing women today from the LGBTQ+ community to reproductive rights, sexual violence, and empowerment. These works are performed through the lens of solo cello by FMP founder and performer Amanda Gookin, electronics, video art by S Katy Tucker, and audio interludes by the composers. In performance, Amanda sings, chants, fights, gasps, and breathes life into these new works. Seven FMP commissions premiered during the Spring Revolution Festival at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY in March 2017. During the 2018/19 season, Amanda was an Artist-In-Residence at National Sawdust and premiered five new works for FMP 2.0: in this skin. Forward Music Project is on the touring roster of National Sawdust Projects. FMP has been presented by such institutions as The Kennedy Center’s DIRECT CURRENT and Georgetown University in Washington, DC; The Wallis in Los Angeles; OK Electric Festival in Tulsa; and deDoelen in Rotterdam, NL.

Photo by  Ryan Scherb

Photo by Ryan Scherb

“Gookin is carving out space for fresh narratives and providing a much needed dose of reality.”
— I Care If You Listen

Forward Music Project is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.



In the face of division, hashtags, and soundbites, Forward Music Project 2.0: in this skin commissions five new multimedia works for solo cello and provides space and time for audiences to listen deeply to, interact with, and contemplate the visceral joys and struggles of women.

World Premiere: March 20, 2019 at National Sawdust


World Premiere: March 1, 2017 at National Sawdust


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S. Katy Tucker is a video and projections designer based in NYC. Tucker began her career as a painter and installation artist, exhibiting her work at a variety of galleries, such as the Corcoran Museum in Washington, D.C. and Artist's Space in New York City. Her work in theater and opera has been seen around the world, including Broadway; Off-Broadway; the Metropolitan Opera; the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall; the New York City Ballet; the Kennedy Center; BAM, The Park Avenue Armory, among others. She has collaborated with musicians including: Paul McCartney, Paola Prestini, Jeff Ziegler, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Recent productions include Dmitri Tcherniakov’s Prince Igor at the Dutch National Opera and Metropolitan Opera, The Ring Cycle with Francesca Zambello at San Francisco Opera, Iron & Coal with Kevin Newbury, If You Listen with R.B. Schlater, and Sets and Video for Orphee at Banff Center with Joel Ivany and West Side Story at the Kennedy Center with Francesca Zambello. Upcoming: Silent Voices with Kevin Newbury, The Park Avenue Armory Gala with Stefan Beckman, Set and Video design for Parsifal at IU Opera Theater and Florencia en el Amazonas at Houston Grand Opera.

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World Premiere

national sawdust, brooklyn, ny
March 20, 2019


"swerve" for cello and loop pedal by jessica meyer

World Premiere
SPRINg revolution festival

national sawdust, brooklyn, ny
March 1, 2017


"Stolen" by Allison loggins-Hull

Roulette, Brooklyn, NY
March 6, 2019


"memories lie dormant: they are reviled before they are revealed" by morgan krauss

World Premiere
SPRINg revolution festival

national sawdust, brooklyn, ny
March 1, 2017


"Dam Mwen Yo" by Nathalie Joachim


Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington, D.C.
March 6, 2017


National Sawdust Student Colab

Brooklyn, NY
June 2019

This journey of artistic discovery and self expression empowers young people to have a voice on the issues which affect them, while also enabling them to explore and fulfill their potential as a creative beings.


"Is there a place for activism in the classical music world?"

Learn Amanda’s story (which includes many digressions from, and returns to, the classical music world), and learn why she decided to aim all of her disparate passions at one target. 





I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying—trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself.
— Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist
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