Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

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

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

This article shared 1285 times since Wed Oct 10, 2018
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/ .


This article shared 1285 times since Wed Oct 10, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer playwright, LGBTQ+ films, BMI Pop Awards, new superhero 2022-05-15
- Jeremy O. Harris, the queer Tony-nominated author of Slave Play, has been named the presiding playwright for the 2023 Yale Drama Series Prize—one of the theater world's most prestigious playwriting honors, Deadline noted. Harris joins the ...


Gay News

Inaugural Heatwave Music Festival in Chicago on July 16-17 2022-05-14
- Auris Presents announced the debut edition and artist lineup for the Heatwave Music Festival, coming to Chicago on July 16-17 in Douglass Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Dr. According to a press release, the festival will be ...


Gay News

MUSIC Ty Herndon releasing 'personal' album 'Jacob' on July 15 2022-05-13
- Out gay Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning country artist Ty Herndon announced the release date of his forthcoming album, Jacob. Jacob—called Herndon's "most personal album to date"—will be out July 15. ...


Gay News

Casting announced for 'Queer Eye: The Musical Parody' at Second City 2022-05-13
- Comedy institution The Second City announced the cast and crew of Queer Eye: The Musical Parody, which will start running Thursday, May 26. (The production will run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at ...


Gay News

MUSIC Riot Fest to take place Sept. 16-18 in Chicago 2022-05-12
- Riot Fest—one of the largest remaining independent festivals in the country—is slated to return to Douglass Park on Sept. 16-18. Festival organizers revealed a jam-packed lineup taking up five stages and performing punk, indie rock, hip-hop, ...


Gay News

57th Street Art Fair marking 75th anniversary on June 4-5 2022-05-12
- The 57th Street Art Fair, the Midwest's oldest juried art fair, will mark its 75th anniversary with an in-person celebration on June 4-5 featuring nearly 200 artists, live music presented by Buddy Guy's Legends, and a ...


Gay News

THEATER Underscore's 'Notes & Letters' running through May 28 2022-05-12
- Underscore Theatre Company celebrates its 10th-anniversary season with the world premiere of the musical Notes & Letters, which features book, music and lyrics by Annabelle Lee Revak (she/her) and is ...


Gay News

Chicago Gay Men's Chorus to present 'Unimaginable' on May 20-22 2022-05-11
- The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus will present the spring show "CGMC: Unimaginable," on May 20-22 at three Chicagoland venues. The performances will take place Friday, May 20, at 8 p.m. at Chicago's Athenaeum Center for Thought ...


Gay News

Kokandy Productions to present 'Cruel Intentions: The '90s Musical' June 9-Aug. 7 2022-05-10
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (May 10, 2022) — Kokandy Productions is launching its 10th-anniversary season this summer with the Chicago storefront premiere of Cruel Intentions: The '90s Musical—a flirty and fun, nostalgia-packed show ...


Gay News

Tonys: Queer-themed 'A Strange Loop' leads nods; 'Paradise Square,' 'MJ' close behind 2022-05-09
- Nominations for the 75th Tony Awards were announced May 9—and a Pulitzer Prize-winning original musical and a play that recounts the 2008 financial crisis led the nods, CNN reported. Leading the nominations was A Strange Loop, ...


Gay News

Lakeside Pride to host 'Sweet Home Chicago' on May 29 [UPDATED] 2022-05-08
- As part of the 40th annual Pride Bands Alliance Conference, Lakeside Pride will host "Sweet Home Chicago" on Sunday, May 29, at 7 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. Chicago's Lakeside ...


Gay News

White Party returns to Palm Springs; celebrities make appearances 2022-05-08
- After a two-year hiatus, the 32nd Annual White Party Global (formerly White Party Palm Springs) celebrated its return with more than 20,000 attendees from around the globe, a press release noted. Recognized as the longest-running and ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Hacks,' 'Love, Victor,' Indy 500, Ariana DeBose, queer singers 2022-05-08
- Queer, non-binary actor Carl Clemons-Hopkins (they/them and he/him) told Out Magazine he is elated with the warm reception received by the show Hacks and his character. "When I started in this years and years ago, there ...


Gay News

Inaugural 'River North Live' taking place June 24-26 2022-05-06
- River North Residents Association announced that its annual festival, formerly Taste of River North, will return with a new venue, date and concept for 2022. Taking place June 24-26, River North Live will feature world-class artists ...


Gay News

MUSIC Madonna curating, releasing dance-music compilation 'Finally Enough Love' 2022-05-04
- Madonna made history once again when she topped the Dance Club Songs chart for the 50th time, making her the first and only recording artist to have 50 number-one hits on any Billboard chart. To celebrate ...


 



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
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.