We're doing something big this year and we need your help.
Public Recordings' next major group work reimagines an orchestral piece from 1970 by experimental composer Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016). It’s called To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation. After reading the radical feminist text “Scum Manifesto”, in the after-shock of the political upheavals of 1968, Oliveros imagined a “continuous circulation of power” enacted through performance. Now, we want to revisit this work with 18 remarkable artists through a public process, and perform it, free to audiences, at Toronto City Hall.
To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation proposes a leaderless orchestra within an immersive installation of coloured light. The work considers music’s capacity to express new ways of being together– of orchestrating action and sharing power. These are subjects that could not be more urgent today, and it's been our pleasure and our challenge to consider them anew– finding solidarity with the radical practice of a previous generation.
So: we've assembled a multidisciplinary orchestra of performing artists–some of Toronto’s most adventurous musicians, as well as dancers, performance-makers, visual artists and writers– to learn this piece together through a practice of listening. And we’re staging our rehearsals as open events in community spaces throughout Toronto (like Regent Park School of Music), to reorient our ears and imaginations along the way.
At the end of it all, we'll perform the work in the Council Chambers at Toronto City Hall, February 17th. And it’s all being presented by The Music Gallery.
We need your help to make it happen! Bringing this project to people and places it would never ordinarily reach, means moving dozens of people and substantial equipment around the city. Help us keep it free and keep it moving.
Your support will allow us to:
Make this entire project free to the public
Ensure the 18 contributing artists are fully paid for rehearsal time
Make sure we have all the right equipment, the right tools and instruments
Pay for travel expenses, to get people where they need to be
This project is more than a concert. On February 15th, in partnership with Art Metropole and the Music Gallery, we're arranging a special presentation by Pauline Oliveros’ spouse and long-time collaborator, the author director and text/sound-artist IONE. And to ensure the project continues to resonate, we're creating an experimental publication on the project, including a vinyl recording to be released in 2020. With your help, we can make all these opportunities to listen deeply.
We can't wait for you to see–and hear–what you've made possible.
You can donate now at
Video footage: Ishan Davé, Francesca Chudnoff
Edit: Lee Henderson