'Music for the Changing Voice' demonstrates that music can heal fractured hearts

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.
"Music for the Changing Voice" demonstrates that music can heal fractured hearts. Image: Peter Stranks. Used with permission.

We don't usually have a lot of music on rabble podcasts, and we're happy that rabble radio is full of music on this week's show. It’s a difficult theme though, related to a painful, personal story of childhood sexual abuse. Which makes it all the more important to do a program about it because a lot of the best songs expose pain and bring an awareness about the things we need to change.

Alyssa Wright is a cellist, singer-songwriter and now an actor and playwright. She's based in Barrie, Ontario.

Her one woman show Music for the Changing Voice is premiering tonight at Talk is Free Theatre in Barrie. In the show, she delves into the most painful of family histories -- her sexual abuse by her father when she was a pre-teen. In the story, though, her father is the secondary character. The main character whom she struggles against is her grandfather, her father's father.

It’s a story about family reputation and about hiding secrets. Though her grandfather has been gone now for over a decade, she is reminded of him every time she sees the name, The Don Wright Faculty of Music -- University of Western Ontario. He was a well known figure whom a lot of people in the music community still remember.  

In this interview, Alyssa talks to rabble podcast exec producer Victoria Fenner about her musical show and how especially difficult it is to escape from the memory of family members, especially when memorialized as "pillars of the community."

The music from Music for the Changing Voice is available on CD. You can find out more about the CD and Alyssa's project  by going to The Katie Project. The CD and the website also contains information for survivors of sexual abuse. In the credits for the CD, Alyssa writes "If this story in any way touches upon your own, please know that you are not alone, and there are many resources available to help you navigate through and heal from the aftermath."

Music credits: "Katie" and "Sword and Wand" by Alyssa Wright. Used with permission.

Musicians: Alyssa Wright, lead vocal and cello; Leslie Arden, piano and vocal harmonies; and Ray Dillard, marimba, percussion and vocal harmonies.

Image credit: Peter Stranks. Used with permission.

Help make rabble sustainable. Please consider supporting our work with a monthly donation. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.