We live in a time of great hope for change, in a time where women’s voices will no longer be silenced, or ignored. As we rip off the band-aid that has been covering up many unhealed and unacknowledged wounds from our past, the time is now, to learn from that past, and through awareness create a healthier society, where equality becomes the norm, and where diverse voices are no longer marginalized, but rather celebrated. The “Prologue” shares both visually and sonically the power of women, the breathtaking groundswell of our collective experience.
Chapter One: “The Long Road” Music By Lolita Ritmanis
As I sat down to begin the process of composing an original symphonic work to support the powerful overview of women throughout history, which would be Chapter One of Women Warriors: The Voices of Change, it was a bit of a daunting task. How does one comment musically on such a broad overview of the collective “long road,” while paying homage to individual achievements, individual obstacles, individual battles won and battles lost? I let this question ruminate for quite awhile. Chapter One could not merely support, in documentary fashion, the visuals we were seeing on the screen. This work needed to make its own statement, present its own purpose within the body of the concert. One night the germ of the idea came to me: “The Long Road” needed to feature individual voices within a sea of collective voices. I chose to compose a double concerto of sorts, featuring four unique voices: flute, violin, french horn, and cello. Throughout Chapter One, the quartet shines through the orchestra; as soloists, as a quartet, all the while receiving support from the orchestra. Much like the composers represented in this concert, we embrace this experience as individuals, we embrace this experience as a group of composers and artists who deeply respect one another, and, finally, we embrace the opportunity to move the audience, to open hearts and minds, in hopes that through shining a light on the women warriors of the past, we not only celebrate their journeys throughout history, but embrace a deeper concept, that the “Long Road” is not only a thing of the past, but a living, breathing road that we are all paving together.
“Women Hold Up Half the Sky”
“We Rise” Lyrics by Amy Andersson, Music By Lolita Ritmanis
Amy Andersson and I co-wrote the song “We Rise” for the finale of our concert. During the collaboration process, the finale went through many permutations, many concepts of how to present the song, and what the message would be. There can be great power, even joy and positivity that come out of tackling so many serious topics as are tackled in “Women Warriors: The Voices of Change.” Shining a light on the darker chapters of our history, thanking the women who have come before us, seeking solutions together of ways to make meaningful changes, empower us, empower our daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers to rise, to rise, and have their voices heard! Early in the process, we knew that we wanted to add not only one solo voice, but a choir to the finale. Collaborating in this part of the process with the Riga Dom Cathedral Girls Choir “Tiara,” in Latvia, under the direction of Aira Birziņa brought the added element that we were looking for. The team in Latvia helps us to facilitate and elevate the finale of the concert. Through virtual collaboration with a talented team making it all come together (see program credits for all involved,) the finale aims to not only celebrate our women warriors, but leave the audience with a positive charge: “There are hills to climb and hearts to heal, and minds to set free. We Rise!”
Learn more about Lorita Ritmanis here: https://www.lolitaritmanis.com