I have been slacking on keeping up with posting due to exahustion from work and trying to be a functioning adult, but I am now getting around to it! Admittingly, this is running a month behind and I made sure to keep the program pamphlets for when I finally getting to posting this. I went to see Neave Trio at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center in downtown Tulsa on April 23rd and I have to admit that I have not previously heard of them beforehand. However, it does appear that they have been touring and making albums as group since 2010 and even been Grammy nominated previously before, so they have definitely made a name for themselves! I have been trying to find events to go to so that I can discover new things and I guess expand my cultural palate. I may have already explained that in one of my previous posts, but that is reasoniong behind me going around to so many different events; I just want to experience new things while I still can and have the time. I am always going to some kind of an event and I am almost always at the Tula Performing Art Center as of lately. According to the program pamplet provided, the word 'neave' in the name is Gaelic translating to 'bright' and 'radiant.'
From what I understand from what the members of the group were saying in between performances is that they make sure to play compositions from women composers, both from the past and present, in order to celebrate and spread their music around so they get the recognition they deserve as composers. Also because composers historically have been male and female composers were more rare in the past. They played compositions such as Gabriela Lena Frank's Four Folks (2012), Reena Esmail's Trio (2019), and Ethel Smyth's Trio in D Minor (1880). Frank, who is of both Lithuanian Jewish, Peruvian, and Chinese descent, is from Berkely, California started to create music a form of therapy growing up, as she is profoundly hearing-impaired, that explored her mixed heritage. Reena Esmail is from Chicago, Illinois and is of Indian descent, and her work attempts to bridge the two different musical and cultural worlds she is a part of. Ethel Smyth, it appears, was a successful composer during her time in London and is also well-known as a social activist and was involved inthe women's suffrage movement. She wrote and dedicated a song to the movement titled The March of the Women and even spent time in prison for two months with other suffragettes for breaking windows of the home of an opposing minister. After that, she became a Dame Commander in the Order of the British empire and had friendships with other well-known people such as Virginia Woolf and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaihovsky. Furthermore, the program pamphlet also mentions that both Smyth and Woolf may have had a pretty close relationsip in that Smyth made romantic advances towards her, however, those advances had been rejected. I guess I will have to read up more on that. My favorite for sure out of the selections is Reena Esmail's work just because it sounded pretty. I did try to find their work online through streaming platforms, but I was mostly unsuccessful, unfortunately. I would like to listen to their work more to get a better impression of them rather making a judgement after hearing them once. Just because you heard it already once doesn't mean that your judgement of it is going to change later on or that perhaps maybe you were not probably in a state to fully appreciate it at that specific moment in time. That is my logic, anyway.
I would encourage everybody to go and see their performances if they are in your city or nearby. They are great musicians and seems like pretty nice people that care to celebrate women composers who they believe deserve the recognition.