Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

Social Media home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES                DOWNLOAD PDF ISSUE

Composer Libby Rudolph turns music to activism
by Catey Sullivan
2018-10-10

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


When composer/vocalist Elizabeth "Libby" Rudolph was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, one of her professors gave her some guidance that changed the shape of her education.

"He told me I was shouldn't write music because I was too female and too emotional," Rudolph said. At the time, Rudolph had been already composing for years, was a veteran of the world-renowned Interlochan Arts Academy and an award-winning tutor in the more-complicated-than-calculus study of musical theory.

She had a ready response for her university advisor: "I told him to go piss up a rope. Then I found a new college."

A few decades out from that exchange, Rudolph is both an acclaimed vocalist and composer. On Oct. 16, the queer-identifying artist is turning over a recital's worth of her own compositions to other vocalists and musicians. Finding Home, Finding Self: The Music of Elizabeth Rudolph begins at 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, 600 W. Fullerton Ave. Proceeds from the deeply personal concert will go to the Chicago Women's Health Center, which since 1975 has worked to provide works to empower women and trans* people with pay-what-you-can-afford, high-quality health care and health education.

"I don't believe it's actually music until somebody performs it," Rudolph told Windy City Times. "It's not music when it's just sitting on a page. I have all these black-and-white notes I've written over the past 40 years, all these pieces that in my mind, aren't really music yet."

Rudolph has been writing songs since 1980, when she was a teenager growing up in tiny New Berlin, Wisconsin. She describes her sound as minimalist, contemporary and classical. She loves Stravinsky, Strauss and big band, loves and hates Wagner and once loved Philip Glass, but "burned out" on his music in high school. Her friends say they can hear jazz in her compositions. She insists she's not good at lyrics ( "I'm not confident writing in English. I am confident writing in music." ).

With degrees in vocal music and composition from Minnesota's prestigious St. Olaf College, Rudolph can deliver Cole Porter and operatic art songs with equal verve, and works regularly with Chicago's Transgressive Opera, New Moon Opera and The Floating Opera Company. Her pieces have been performed and/or recorded by VOX3 collective, Third Eye Theater, and Opera on Tap-Chicago.

"In writing music, I discover myself. Creation is a form of mediation. I need that. We all need that. Now, more than ever, creation is important," Rudolph said. The intersection of art and politics is also paramount, she said.

"It's so important to make things political right now. My dad ( and other conservatives ) like to patronizingly dismiss my concerns by saying that 'politics isn't personal.' But politics is totally personal.

"I have a pre-existing condition and I have to get individual insurance. Before the Affordable Care Act, I couldn't get insurance at any price. Anyone who votes for a candidate who pledges to eliminate the ACA without providing another way for me to get insurance, is voting for me to live in constant fear and stress. That's just one example."

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, Rudolph turned the fear and stress toward amping up up her powers of creation.

"I had no comprehension that the conservative movement was so strong. I was absolutely confident Hillary would win. The composition I eventually wrote about it is called 'Sickness.' It's about the sickness that has taken control of our culture.

"It's potent here in the U.S.A., but it's happening all over. Look at Doug Ford in Ontario. Look at what's happening in Poland. Look at Theresa May and Brexit. It's important for artists to express themselves. If we don't say anything now, we might not be able to say anything later," she said.

Rudolph's work also takes on Shakespeare, who gets his own set in the Oct. 16 concert. The segment includes compositions Rudolph set to Richard III's most harrowing monologues: Lady Ann's inconsolable sorrow and rage over the Richard's butchering of her husband and father-in-law, and Queen Margaret's hair-raising, Cassandra-like incantations.

Many of Rudolph's compositions are set to poems penned by her aunt, Appleton Wisconsin-based Julia Ball. "Family Relations," featuring Ball's lyrics, includes "Perfect Fog," a song about Rudolph's grandfather and his decline into Alzheimer's. "The last eight years of his life, it was like he wasn't there. ( The song ) is about the transition between grandpa being grandpa and grandpa being gone," Rudolph said.

The concert also has an instrumental section, where musicians including Meghan Guse, Rachael Long, Samantha Attaguile and Katherine Dalin, will be in the spotlight. Other pieces feature the words of August Strindberg ( 'The Third Night,' two songs with lyrics by Strindberg for bass-baritone, bass clarinet, and piano ) and mezzo soprano/composer/poet Yvonne Strumecki ( 'e Gustaria Hablar,' a song cycle for soprano, violin, and piano ).

Rudolph's queer identity and bisexual orientation shows up in subtle ways in her performances. "I don't know that my sexuality shows up that much in my composition so much as it does in my artistic choices as a performer.

"I can flirt with everybody on stage. It's Off-Loop storefront, so nobody cares," she said. "I always sang boy songs, girl songs. Change the octave and you're fine. I came out in 1994 as a lesbian, but then I realized I still liked men too. So I've identified as bi forever," she said.

"Although," Rudolph added, "somebody recently reprimanded me on the Internet for calling myself that. They said 'bi' enforced the binary and I was actual pansexual. I've had relationships with men, women be people who didn't identify as either gender."

Rudolph's coming the concert is at once performance and a testimony to art as resistance and resilience. "If you're feeling overwhelmed and sad, go home," she said. "Lock the door. Create."

"Finding Home, Finding Self: The Music of Elizabeth Rudolph" is at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, 600 W. Fullerton. Tickets are $15. Proceeds bgo to the Chicago Women's Health Center. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/events/1615725035199317/; ticket info is at findinghomefindingself.brownpapertickets.com/ .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Recording Academy partners with GLAAD to foster LGBTQ+ inclusion in the music industry 2022-01-25
-- From a press release. Video below - Los Angeles, CA — Tuesday, Jan. 25—GLAAD announced that the Recording Academy® has donated $150,000 to the organization to support its work to diversify the music industry. In addition to the donation, GLAAD and the Recording ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'The Gay Agenda,' Elliot Page, actress dies, sports items, Rock Hudson 2022-01-23
- Netflix has launched The Gay Agenda, a podcast that looks at the lives of LGBTQ creatives at the top of their fields across different industries, NBC News noted. The goal, the streaming service said, is to ...


Gay News

MUSIC Aimee Mann to perform April 29-30 at Old Town School of Folk Music 2022-01-19
- Musician Aimee Mann is slated to perform April 29-30 at Old Town School of Folk Music's Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. After several albums with 'Til Tuesday (with songs like "Voices ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Music festivals, Murray Bartlett, Reese Witherspoon, author David Sedaris 2022-01-16
- Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival revealed the lineup for this year's festival, taking place June 16-19 on the Bonnaroo Farm in Manchester, Tennessee, a press release noted. Highlights will include performances by Tool, J. Cole, Stevie ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theatre announces 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings 2022-01-14
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL—Black Ensemble Theater's Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces its 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings. The 2022 Season includes four World Premiere musicals showcasing the power ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Mary Rose' running through Feb. 12 2022-01-10
- Black Button Eyes (BBE) Productions is concluding its 2021-22 season with the world-premiere musical Mary Rose, featuring book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, direction by Ed Rutherford ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Non-binary skater, Cardi B, David Bowie, 'West Hollywood' series 2022-01-09
- U.S. figure skating champion Timothy LeDuc is hoping to make history as the first out non-binary Winter Olympian in Beijing, out.com noted. The 31-year-old Iowa native and their skating partner, Ashley Cain-Gribble, already have a gold ...


Gay News

THEATER Trans performer Sis is doin' fine in 'Oklahoma!' 2022-01-05
- This isn't your typical grandma's Oklahoma! The very first musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein opened on Broadway in 1943 and continues to captivate audiences today. The dialogue remains the same, but updated casting choices have ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Winnie the Pooh' running March 15-June 12 2022-01-05
- After its run in New York City, Jonathan Rockefeller's Disney's Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation will arrive in Chicago on March 15 and will run through June 12 at the Mercury Theatre Chicago, ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Bachelor' parody musical to start Jan. 13 2022-01-03
- Bachelor: The Unauthorized Parody Musical will run Jan. 13-Feb. 13 at Apollo Theater Chicago, 2550 N. Lincoln Ave. With songs like "Sob Story," "Two-On-One Tango" and "The Date Card is a Riddle," this parody has romance, ...


Gay News

Local composer finds inspiration in a queer love story 2021-12-29
- Two melodic soprano voices echoed through the packed theater. Each note, pitch and crescendo was composed to tell a story of queer love overcoming injustice. Ana Miranda and Michelle Ford Knott, dressed in black, faced the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ The film 'Licorice Pizza,' Aaron Sorkin, WNBA player, Mariah Carey 2021-12-26
- Alana Haim, who stars in the film Licorice Pizza (now out in theaters), talked with out.com about how the movie incorporates queer representation by including unsung queer political figure Joel Wachs. "Joel Wachs was such an ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Drag Race' judges, 'Nash Bridges,' Dolly Parton, J.K. Rowling, Britney 2021-12-19
- The guest judges for the 14th season of RuPaul's Drag Race have been revealed, according to out.com. Lizzo, Alicia Keys, Taraji P. Henson, Andra Day, Loni Love, Christine Chiu, Ava Max, Nicole Byer, Ts Madison, Alec ...


Gay News

MOVIES/MUSIC Director Julia Nash keeps legacy of gay deceased father alive with Wax Trax! film 2021-12-17
- Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records is a documentary telling the story of two gay men who created a music empire in the '80s. Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher were a couple who made ...


Gay News

MUSIC Out singer VINCINT plans a 'Getaway' 2021-12-17
- Out and proud singer Vincint Cannady (aka VINCINT) continues to change the game in the world of pop music. He got his start from performing in gospel groups before becoming a finalist in the singing competition ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.