The Protest Mantras (previously known as Mutations for Justice)

The Protest Mantras (previously known as Mutations for Justice)

Mutations for Justice from Vision Festival 23. Photo: Eva Kapanadze

Mutations for Justice, Mantras for Change is a social justice project based around small musical composition mantras or ‘memes’ as clarifying messages or a rolling diary of the Trump administration. The minimalist and repetitive framework develops through improvisation, in effect chanting protest music to change how we see. The culmination of Mutations for Justice will be a recording/performance project of 45 compositions, close to Election Day in 2020. Currently 20 compositions have been written! In the interim there will be performances to solidify the concepts in the pieces and register the reception from audiences, crucial as the compositions and messages are designed to comfort and inform, to be a conduit for these times.
Victor has been awarded a Headlands Center for the Arts Residency to complete Mutations for Justice.


Fay Victor (voice, composer, lyricist)
Jaimie Branch (trumpet)
Mazz Swift (violin)
Luke Stewart (double bass)
Michael Vatcher (drums)

Review of Vision Festival 23 Launch of Mutations for Justice:

“A start which involved chanting with candles in the darkened auditorium certainly didn’t help clarify expectations of the premier of vocalist Fay Victor’s Mutations For Justice. But once she, drummer Michael Vatcher, bassist Luke Stewart and trumpeter Jaimie Branch made it onto stage hopes were more than met in a set which took minimal compositions, with Victor’s words addressing the times and actions of the Trump presidency, as the starting point for some spirited interaction. At times the blend between Branch’s formidable trumpet inflections, using half valve effects to bend her notes around Victor’s forthright tones, bordered on the sublime. Vatcher found numerous ways to carve out idiosyncratically funky grooves in harness with Stewart’s unruly riffs. Victor’s chorus of “Stormy Daniels I love you” during one piece drew guffaws from the partisan audience and their set formed an unanticipated high point. “– John Sharpe,