After visiting Zuccotti Park for the first time, I really wanted to do some small thing to show support for the protests. I thought it might be very powerful, simple and beautiful to get a small ladies’ choir together and sing together, once a week, in four-part harmony at Zuccotti Park, during a quieter moment.
I started to think about which song(s) might capture the ideology/mood of OWS. The first one I thought of was Lee Feldman’s “Give Me My Money,” which I think is an incredible song and relevant to the cause—it is poignant, catchy and subtlely subversive—and can be interpreted on a very personal or broader, political level. I asked him to arrange it for Soprano 1, Soprano 2, Alto 1 and Alto 2.
After our first performance we all agreed that we should go down there to sing once-a-week at least. The choir and our repertoire have been gradually expanding, adding one or two songs each week, arranged by choir members such as Allyssa Lamb (Las Rubias Del Nortes), Joel Forrester, and Dana Lyn (Yeti Camp).
Although it’s called a “Ladies’ Choir,” ALL ARE WELCOME to join us, and although we enjoy reading music, it’s not necessary. We bring lyric sheets and extra choral parts to every performance, and run-through the parts before we perform.
I feel that the music industry provides an example of the problems that OWS is seeking to address, having long operated in a hierarchical manner driven by major corporate interests, propelling a miniscule percentage of musicians to mega-stardom, while many struggle week-to-week to get by, without health insurance. This is just one example of MANY issues that need to be addressed.
The OWS movement has given me courage to voice my opinion in public, and join with others to support a basic right: that we should all be inherently VALUED, as human beings. This Choir is a fun, organized, inclusive, consistent, peaceful combining and amplification of voices, allowing space for complexity, emotion, dissonance and resolution.
We believe in and show (and sing) support for the OWS movement.