The Disarm Hate Project
On June 12, 2016, a lone gunman shot and killed 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, wounding 53 more. In 2016 alone, there were 58,538 gun-related incidents—15,052 of those resulting in death (according to www.gunviolencearchive.org).
Considering mass shootings in recent years—Virginia Tech, Newtown, Aurora, San Bernardino, Orlando, and now here in San Diego, among many others—I found myself searching how to feel and how to make sense of it all. The overarching feeling was helplessness. What could I do?
In times of personal tragedy and loss, I am fortunate to have family and close friends with whom I can seek comfort and sanctuary. After the Orlando shooting, an example of tragedy and loss for humanity, my partner and I reached out to family, close friends, and colleagues to share our feelings. It was clear we weren’t alone as we struggled processing acts of violence and the emotions that follow. This inspired creating a musical response to gun violence. Commissioning, creating, recording, and presenting new music is something we could do.
The texts and music in this project are meant to help people navigate emotional responses such as shock, anger, grief, and sorrow, toward a destination of hope and healing. This project has the ability to reach people around the world who seek hope, healing, inspiration, empathy, sympathy, company, community, and a common thread within humanity.
I am grateful for the accomplished authors and composers from all over the United States who created new art for this project. I am grateful for the San Diego musicians who have rallied around the cause not only for themselves, but also for whom this project reaches. I look forward to continued communication with poets and composers in our country and abroad who wish to be involved.
The San Diego Pro Arte Voices see the 2017 Disarm Hate recording project and concert as a starting point for conversation and processing of this terrible issue. We hope it inspires other composers, poets, and writers to create not only for the Pro Arte Voices, but for their own communities, engaging local musicians, schools, and organizations who wish to participate in an artistic response to gun violence.
If you would like to be involved with the DHP, as a composer, collaborative artist, or financial support, please contact Katie Walders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(to be released Fall 2017)
Commissioned Pieces to date:
3 Tainiai, by Justin Murphy-Mancini (text by Alyssa Kai)
Eye for Eye, by Shawn Kirchner (text by Shawn Kirchner, with debt to Gandhi and Jesus)
Love (&) Doubt, by Gregory W. Brown (text by Kevin Devaney)
No More!, by Anthony J. Maglione (text by Arlin Buyert, Anthony Maglione)
Take the Time to Count to Fifty, by William Culverhouse (text by Sierra DeMulder)
I was going to see you, by William Culverhouse (text by Alexis Pauline Gumbs)
The Wound, by Scot Hanna-Weir (text by Ruth Stone)