I am so proud to be part of a 14 member Collective called We Have Voice. We got together via email, group meetings and Google hangouts to first draft an Open Letter that stressed zero tolerance for sexual harassment in any form. Then we drafted a Code of Conduct : To Promote Safe(r) Workspaces in the Performing Arts that officially launched on May 1, 2018 (International Workers Day). The launch was buoyed by great coverage in the New York Times, NPR, and JazzRightNow.com. There is less information on where to go as performing arts workspaces are fluid, sometimes blurry. Most artists have no HR department to go to. We felt strongly that this document helps to bring awareness and clarity. The title of ‘SAFER(R)’ speaks to our intersectional lens as a group, the understanding that ‘safe’ doesn’t register the same for all of us. We see this as inspiring and inclusive document. We understand that abuse can happen to anyone. We Have Voice is a multi-ethnic collective from diverse backgrounds, sexual orientations, ages, and career trajectories. This has been inspiring work with an incredible group.
Other than myself, the Collective is: Ganavya Doraiswamy, Imani Uzuri, Jen Shyu, Kavita Shah, Linda May Han Oh, María Grand, Nicole Mitchell, Okkyung Lee, Rajna Swaminathan, Sara Serpa, Tamar Sella, Terri Lyne Carrington and Tia Fuller.
Code of Conduct : To Promote Safe(r) Workspaces in the Performing Arts
Greetings from Sarasota Springs! I’m here on a a music composition residency that lasts about 6 weeks and I just passed the two week mark.Yaddo is an amazing place (as you can see from the photos) deeply conducive to creativity.My fellow fellows are incredible and accomplished making it inspiring to be here and talk about creativity and process with so many self possessed and well formed artists of different disciplines.
As beautiful as all of this is and it is – I’m here to write about one of the most painful and life changing events of my entire life – the death of my mother.Hers was sudden and unexpected and I was just 19 and my sister, 17 at the time.The anniversary of her passing was just a few days ago – 33 years before and I am astounded at how embedded some pain is and yet I’m grateful and humbled at the opportunity to spend needed time in this space and create a work which I hope will honor her memory and all the great lessons I’ve taken with me from her. And so much more. I do find it hard to mix admin things (such as sending mailings etc…) while working on the piece. It takes longer to come back to earth 🙂
I will keep you all posted for sure on the completion of the piece and when it will be performed.I’m aiming for Spring 2019 in New York City.
In other news – I’m headed back to the city around March 5th and shortly after that, I’ll start up my CREATIVE IMPROVISATION Course III starting on March 13 2018and running for 5 weeks until April 10, 2018 in Brooklyn. Always a pure blast to teach vocalists and musicians alike how to use and enjoy their voices in creative and freeing ways. Let me know if you or someone you know is interested.
And yes…still tweaking the website and will update the GIG, and Discography sections shortly! There’s lots of news to share with you for the Spring into the summer and I will get that up to date….
In closing, I’m attaching a video of a solo vocal piece.I started working out the contours for a Solo Vocal Project aside from the piece I’m writing for my mother.Have a listen at the link.
Thanks for reading and listening and if you or anyone else you know might be interested in the Creative Improv Course – do let me know.
I’d like to share some news: SoundNoiseFUNK, the group I presented at the WinterJazzFest AND who has a smokin’ record about to drop on ESP-Disk, got a great review in Downbeat from the Bill Milkowski that I want to share with you all!
“With Morris’ Derek Bailey-like splatters of pointillistic single notes, Newsome’s remarkable overtones, percussive effects and displays of circular breathing setting the tone, along with Nicholson’s sensitive and at times kinetic commentary on the proceedings, Victor was freed up to soar with impunity as she morphed from character to character like a jazz vocal version of Robin Williams during their scintillating set. Throughout the course of this continuous stream of music, colored by dramatic shifts in events, Victor demonstrated touches of Aretha Franklin, Yoko Ono, Connie Boswell, Betty Carter and Diamond Galas while also channeling opera singers, voodoo priestesses and an Islamic sheik singing the call to prayer along the way.”
Check out a video here of the piece The Threat, featured in the review:
The next CREATIVE IMPROV Class will begin March 13, 2018!! Very excited to teach this course once again! Get in touch for detailed info on the course and to sign up! This 5-week, 12 hour course will set anyone the course of opening up many possibilities as an improvisor.
Thanks for reading friends! About to leave town for awhile to attend an artist residency Upstate New York. Back at the end of the month and sending everyone out there good and beautiful vibrations.