A new evening-length work created by flutist and composer Nathalie Joachim of Flutronix, Fanm d’Ayiti (Women of Haiti) is a celebration of some of Haiti’s most iconic yet under recognized female artists, through new musical arrangements and compositions for flute, string quartet, vocals, and electronics seamlessly interwoven with recorded interviews telling stories of political exile, cultural affirmation, and independence.
Joachim writes, “My journey to Fanm d’Ayiti started in late 2015, shortly after the passing of my maternal grandmother. She and I spent many a cherished moment underneath the mango and coconut trees in her yard in Haiti—and in my childhood home in America—singing songs with one another. It was our way of telling each other stories, and her way of passing on a centuries-long cultural practice of oral history. She taught me to embrace and share my heart freely through song, without fear of judgment. This honesty and absence of judgment is how she lived her life, as can be heard in her own words on “Madan Bellegarde,” one of the program’s featured works. Her absence ignited a deep desire for understanding in me. In what ways did our voices connect with the voices of other Haitian women? What did our songs tell us about our past, and what might they mean for the future?”
A deeply personal exploration of Joachim’s Haitian heritage, the project features original songs incorporating the recorded voices of Joachim’s grandmother and the girls choir of her family’s home farming village of Dantan. This evening, Joachim will be joined by renowned chamber ensemble Spektral Quartet, making their second appearance at CPA.