This Fall I will be joining the faculty at the Mannes School of Music to co-teach a graduate-level course with PUBLIQuartet member, Jannina Norpoth, on creative concert programming and self-promotion.
"Gookin's focus and ferocity - couple with expert technical work - made her message unforgettable."
"Is there a place for activism in the musical world?"
"Consistently self-possessed, and alternately delicate and fierce in her musical approach, Gookin displayed impressive reserves of emotional and technical energy."
Amanda will perform works from her Forward Music Project and give a talk about activism through classical music on the TEDx MidAtlantic salon: Disruption on March 6!
HOW DID YOUR FORWARD MUSIC PROJECT GET STARTED?
It sprung from an intense desire to use the cello as a platform to speak up and speak out against oppression. Two years ago, I was on a long car ride listening to public radio and heard an inspiring speech by (Seattle City Council rep) Kshama Sawant, arguing the need to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Not only was I listening to an important message, I was hearing the beauty, power, and strength in a woman’s voice. A lifelong feminist, I was overcome with the feeling that my musical career was drifting away from connecting with society on a humanistic level. It brought to mind an inspiring fundraising campaign I had recently seen for Art and Abolition, a program that provides art therapy and safe housing for girls who are victims of sexual violence in Kenya. These are just two examples of women around the world who devote their lives everyday for the betterment of those who suffer. Inspired, moved, and empowered, it was on this day that the seed for the Forward Music Project was planted.
I am so thrilled to have been interviewed by the wonderful Larry and Arlene Dunn for "5 Questions" on I care if you listen (.com)! We talk about the creation of Forward Music Project; the upcoming premiere on March 1 at National Sawdust; classical musicians getting political; the FMP composers; and of course PUBLIQuartet!
March 1st marks the World Premiere of seven new compositions for solo cello focusing on women's rights and social justice. 100% of my artist proceeds will be donated to inspiring organizations doing work to empower women and girls.
Watch PUBLIQuartet improvise a soundtrack to the entire 90 minute debate live on The Late Show Facebook page tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST!
manda is looking forward to returning to her alma mater, The Mannes School of Music, as a guest speaker on "The Art of Engagement" on November 2!