I had an opportunity to be a part of a wonderful concert event in Los Angeles called “The Future is Female”, conducting a piece I had composed for a live orchestra and full audience. I called Amy for some tips and we became fast friends. She then told me about “Women Warriors: The Voices of Change”; I was mesmerized by her passion and her concept. We talked through some of her ideas and went to an RBG screening together. Sharing our love for music, documentaries, and social change was a true bond.
Amy had already booked all of her musical acts for the show, but had the idea to involve me by having me collaborate with a young Afghani singer/rapper named Sonita Alizadeh. Sonita wrote a song called “Daughters For Sale” that depicts the heartbreaking tale of how child brides are still sold in Afghanistan everyday. She was supposed to be a bride herself, but luckily escaped this horrible fate. She came to America and became an activist, and is now about to attend college.
I was moved by Sonita’s story, and jumped at the chance to be part of this historical event. I worked with Sonita and her producer in Iran, and I have taken their fully electronic composition and have translated it to a 71 piece orchestral arrangement. While music is music, crossing genres is complicated and challenging work, and I looked to masters like Quincy Jones, Kendrick Lamar, and even Henry Mancini for inspiration. We will project Sonita’s music video (and English translation) behind her while she performs her song. I can’t wait to see her sing with the power of the orchestra supporting her!
I am so honored to be a part of this incredible event, sharing the bill with the fierce talent that is involved across the board. It is truly inspiring to see women taking risks, working hard, and creating opportunities for themselves where there is usually little to none. I hope this concert sheds light on the power women have, and breaks down barriers both in music and human rights.
Learn more about Mandy Hoffman here: http://mandyhoffman.com/composer