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Their Own Voices: Stories of Migrant Women

New music, Life performance, Electronic components, narrative, contemporary issues, immigration, women issues, chamber music,


The Piano on the Rocks International Festival (POTRIF), Sedona AZ, explores the interconnection between solo piano literature, song, storytelling and literature while building bridges across diverse cultures.  It will celebrate its sixth season in 2021. The festival regularly includes music from the Baroque up to the contemporary era.  In 2021, the festival wishes to present an innovative composition from Anna Rubin, whose work has been featured at two previous festivals.  Her proposed work, Their Own Voices: Stories of Migrant Women  will focus on the experience of migrant women from diverse areas of the world who have resettled in the US and is proposed to be fifteen-twenty minutes in length.  While the public face of many migrants, especially women, is portrayed in a monolithic way in the press, their experience is extremely varied.  This work hopes to explore a nuanced interpretation of women’s struggles in their home countries, their decisions to flee and their experiences as migrants.   She intends to combine recorded material from interviews with several migrant women, synthesized sound and live performance featuring soprano, mezzo-soprano and piano.

Their Own Voices promises to be an exciting part of the 2021 festival; in addition, it can help extend the mission of the festival in two important ways.  Firstly, presenting this work will enable POTRIF to be an ‘arts incubator.’ Dr. Rubin hopes to extend the piece an evening-long work that could be performed in other venues.  Secondly,  POTRIF  intends to do arts outreach presentations based on Dr. Rubin’s piece in Sedona public schools as well as a school in nearby Flagstaff.

Project Media

Karina’s Journey
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Features: Anna Rubin

Karina’s Journey (fixed media – 2019) is the story of a young Mexican student’s early life and her journey to the US. Karina Aquihautl Villagran came to the US as a young child, after her parents had already left for the US. She describes coming north when she was seven with her cousin. Karina is a DACA recipient which is a kind of temporary relief from deportation. The beauty of Karina’s voice is highlighted against a spare background of synthesized sound.

The Beekeepers
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Features: Anna Rubin

The Beekeepers is scored for amplified cello and fixed media and was commissioned by Madeleine Shapiro who premiered the piece in New York in 2011 as part of her series of environmentally-inspired pieces. I recorded beekeepers Caroline and Jeff Crooks. Recorded material from Madeleine’s playing, and synthesized/processed sounds complete the sound world of the fixed media portion along with Madeleine’s live performance. I used a variety of software tools including CSound, Metasynth, SoundHack and ProTools.

Start and End Dates



Sedona, Arizona

Project Created By

In Collaboration With

Producer, Performer
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


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