Abolitionist musical collective Sound Off: Music for Bail performs the music of Asian and African-American composers in collaboration with Asian-led workers’ rights group Red Canary Song in a sonic memorial.
This November 19th at 7 PM EST, Sound Off: Music for Bail presents a concert at the People’s Forum, featuring string quartet music in support of Red Canary Song, a NYC-based massage workers’ collective formed in 2017 that received renewed attention in the wake of the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings that targeted vulnerable Asian women. In their own words, Red Canary Song “began [their] organizing in a fight for justice and police accountability after the death of Flushing massage worker Yang Song, who was killed during a police raid in November 2017. [It] started as a project to provide legal support for her family and help her mother pay for healthcare expenses.”
Among the musical selections will include Wu Man’s “Muqaddima” (English: Introduction), a free arrangement and tribute to Uyghur music from Xinjiang, Rhiannon Gidden’s “At The Purchaser’s Option”, a piece inspired by the composer finding an antebellum-era advertisement for a 22-year old enslaved woman and also her 9-month child “at the purchaser’s option”, and Dai Wei’s “Partial Men”, a thought-provoking electroacoustic meditation written after her mother received an organ donation. Wei, who was named one of the Washington Post’s “22 for ‘22” composers and performers to watch this year, will join Sound Off in the performance of her work.
Sound Off: Music for Bail is a collective of musicians, activists, and thinkers dedicated to combining music performance with educational work that envisions alternatives to the current state of policing and imprisonment in the U.S. Their online programming includes free and low-cost instrument workshops, masterclasses with expert musicians, and concerts that raise funds for cash bail across the country.