When a person is gaslit, they are taught to not trust their own mind, their memories and reasoning. Their thoughts become rearranged, and with their thoughts, their reality. This can be true for an abused domestic partner, and it can be true for a public confused by disinformation and propaganda. To start toward healing, one must name the confusion for what it is. I Do Not Know What I Know is an aria that eerily reveals this struggle for Democracy, as she begins to fight for her own clarity and her right to fact. Adapted for individual performance from Say Your Name, a voting-rights cantata composed by Reena Esmail and written by Rebecca Gayle Howell.
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Have you been told you’re wrong
when you’re right?
Have you ever been
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Say Your Name was commissioned by Amherst College Choir and Orchestra. It was premiered on November 5, 2022 at Amherst College, Amherst MA by Sherezade Panthaki, soprano; Alice Rogers, soprano; Amherst Choir and orchestra, Arianne Abela, conductor