For Marsha (P. Johnson) (2019) - for two soprano and two alto voices - (6:00)
Commissioned by the I AM I AM I AM Collective
Music by Alexis C. Lamb (ASCAP)
Text by Aiden K. Feltkamp (ASCAP)
For more information about Feltkamp's other works, please visit their website: https://www.aidenkimfeltkamp.com/
Watch the video here.
Program Notes (from Alexis C. Lamb):
Marsha P. Johnson was a black, transgender woman at the forefront of the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Johnson was heavily involved with the LGBTQ+ rights movement in New York following Stonewall, until her mysterious death in 1992. Johnson’s death was ruled a suicide, but the cause of death is still uncertain to this day. In the 50th anniversary year of Stonewall, Feltkamp’s text is a beautiful and heartbreaking homage to Johnson’s efforts that show the actionable changes made since 1969, but also that represents how much work there still is to do in our society for the LGBTQ+ community. Feltkamp’s words invite us to imagine new pathways forward.
Program Notes (from Aiden K. Feltkamp):
This poem is the fourth in a set of eight titled “Trans Love & Life,” which follows the structure of Chamisso’s Frauen-Liebe und Leben and explores my early experiences as a transmasculine person. Chamisso's fourth poem in the set, “Du Ring an meinem Finger,” focuses on marriage, so I used the fight for gay marriage and LGBTQ+ rights as the starting point for “For Marsha (P. Johnson).” I feel a strong kinship with my transgender siblings, past and present, and I'm especially inspired by Marsha P. Johnson for her hands-on activism alongside Sylvia Rivera in the Stonewall Riots and on STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries). The details of the Stonewall Riots are not well documented, but one thing is clear: the driving force behind them was trans women of color. Too often the fight for LGBTQ+ rights leaves out transfeminine people or actively pushes them away; I believe they should be front and center, especially in regards to Stonewall.