Deaf & LGBTQ artists collaborate for an inspirational song

  • by Jim Provenzano
  • Saturday September 25, 2021
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Andrea 'Dre' Hollingsworth
Andrea 'Dre' Hollingsworth

Los Angeles contemporary choral ensemble Tonality, in collaboration with performers and creators in the deaf community, have created a music video for Alex Wurman's song "No, Child. No Child." The song chronicles the journey of an LGBTQ young person's feelings of shame, their inner struggle, and path to self-acceptance. "No, Child. No Child." is one of the featured tracks on Tonality's album America Will Be.

Tonality Founder and Artistic Director Alexander Lloyd Blake said in a press statement, "Representation is so important to our mission and stories of the LGBTQ community finding acceptance and self-love aren't limited to hearing community.

"This composition by Alex Wurman sets music to a powerful narration of an individual who is learning to accept themselves in their LGBTQ identity. We are honored to work with BIPOC and LGBTQ+ deaf performers and ASL interpreters to share a message of inclusion in a broader and more beautiful way and help inspire communication and foster empathy toward each other."

Among the LGBTQ deaf artists and ASL interpreters is Andrea 'Dre' Hollingsworth, known for her comedy work, along with her hearing daughters Aimee and Ashlee Hollingsworth.

"We collaborated with Tonality to help spotlight LGBTQ and BIPOC Deaf voices." said Rorri Burton, interpreter and founder of Probono ASL. "Neither the LGBTQIA+ community nor Deaf community is a monolith. These communities are multifaceted and diverse. Unfortunately, both are rarely represented as such, focusing on the experiences of non-BIPOC members, instead of featuring the beautiful diversity of experiences."

Tonality is best known for creating choral concerts that focus on issues rarely presented in choral music. Concerts themes have included gun violence, homelessness, refugees, climate change, mental health, women's rights, and exercising democratic rights.

The video is part of a series created to accompany each of the 12 tracks on Tonality's new album, which features several original choral compositions that encourage a deeper understanding of social issues.

If you're in Los Angeles, Tonality will perform songs from America Will Be on October 9 at St John's Episcopal Cathedral.

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