Tacet is a solo project about vulnerability, transparency, and resistance. The work is fueled by a desire to strip away everything in order to be honest and raw about my voice and my presence, both as an artist and a woman.
This piece—and the process of performing it—is simultaneously ugly and beautiful, sentimental and jarring, and most certainly imperfect. It dwells in moments of instability and fragility, and pushes the limits of my physical body and of my instrument. I want to dismantle the normative ideas that surround the work I do: that certain instruments are more feminine (“appropriate for girls”) than others, or that as a female trumpet player I am expected to play sweet, lyrical, or simple music.
Tacet was developed in residence at The Hammer museum as part of In Real Life: Studio (with Allison Wyper / Rhizomatic Arts) in Jan. 2017.
Over the course of 3 weeks, I workshopped this piece in front of a group of people who I had never met before. Each week I stood in front of them and tried to communicate these deeply personal ideas through my instrument. It felt exhausting and at first impossible: they were hearing my trumpet, seeing my movements, noticing tools and associations, but my only goal was for them to hear me.
I made the decision to look every audience member in the eyes and wait for complete stillness before playing, no matter how long it took. This vulnerable determination is the core of the piece—I will wait in silence until I am heard, but I will not be silenced.
This performance of Tacet is from the High Voltage Series at the Electric Lodge, Feb. 2017 (curated by Josh Berkowitz).