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Sun, Mar 08


First Church Middletown UCC

The Murder Ballad Project

On March 8th, 2020, International Women’s Day, will feature a concert of solely women performers playing murder ballads, and also offering songs of empowerment and hope.

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The Murder Ballad Project
The Murder Ballad Project

Time & Location

Mar 08, 2020, 4:00 PM

First Church Middletown UCC, 190 Court St, Middletown, CT 06457, USA

About the event

Please visit their Facebook Event page and RSVP to this free performance. This  event is made possible with support from the Department of Economic and  Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal  agency. 

"On  March 8th, 2020, International Women’s Day, we will hold a concert of  solely women performers playing murder ballads, and also offering songs  of empowerment and hope. The concert will take place at First Church,  UCC in Middletown, CT.  Murder ballads are part of the ballad tradition,  and they typically involve a gruesome murder. Overwhelmingly, the victim in these songs is female. Many of these traditional ballads are  based on true stories, with a man, who was usually either married or of a  higher social status than the woman, killing his pregnant lover. Omie Wise and Pearl Bryan are famous examples of this narrative.

We  wish to reframe these songs by having them sung by female voices and to bring awareness to the issues of violence that women all over the world  regularly face. There is a detachment with which murder ballads are sung in modern day performance. With women knowing the threat of  violence firsthand, the songs will be transformed into raw, immediate  stories of lives lost. We seek to illustrate, through these songs, that  the issues women such as Naomi Wise (the real woman that inspired Omie  Wise) faced  - the issues of autonomy over their bodies and safety -  still resonate very strongly today."

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