Kate Amrine

This is My Letter to the World

Innova 042


1. Skin   Gemma Peacocke
2. What We are Doing to Ourselves    Kate Amrine
3. Thoughts and Prayers    Kevin Joest
4. My Body My Choice    Niloufar Nourbakhsh
5. Waiting?   Kate Amrine
6. Close Fight   JacobTV
7. linger    inti Figgis-vizueta
8. I’m Sorry Not Sorry    Ruby Fulton
9. We Are Women   Kate Amrine
10. This is My Letter to the World      Jay Rizzetto with words by Emily Dickinson
11. It Wasn’t Something that We Could Control     Howie Kenty


Roberta Michel – Alto flute  
Track 2

Carrie Frey – Viola
Track 2

Amanda Gookin – Cello
Track 2

Leanne Friedman – Alto flute
Track 5

Ford Fourqurean – Bass clarinet
Track 7 and 11

Kate Barmotina – Viola and Vocals
Track 8

Alia Kuhnert, Maddi Lusby – Trumpet and Vocals
Track 9

Kyra Sims – Narrator
Track 10


Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Mike Tierney

Design by Jamie Breiwick at BSide Graphics

Photography by Kelsey Ross and Kaitlyn Resler

Produced by Kate Amrine


Skin by Gemma Peacocke

For the last five years – since moving to the United States – I’ve been trying to understand the (white) American idea of race and the relationship between violence and sexuality. My immigrant curiosity about the American fixation on skin has gradually stretched into tendrils of understanding, wending between the intricate layers of privilege, power, and shame associated with race and with sex, down into the dark roots of the country’s history.

Skin is the meeting point of our bodies with the world through which we move. It is a place of weathering, of impact, of touch. It is a signifier to others of who we are, for how long we have lived, and where we come from. I wrote Skin as a rumination on the way in which our skin pushes up against truth; engendering both real identities and constructions of the self. - Gemma


What We Are Doing to Ourselves by Kate Amrine

What We Are Doing to Ourselves is a piece about our effect on the environment as reflected in the words of prominent LGBT rights lawyer David S Buckel. Buckel tragically set himself on fire in Prospect Park in Spring 2018 and sent the media his suicide note - which became the text for this piece. He was active in many transformative LGBT rights cases, one of which inspired the movie Boys Don’t Cry, as well as advocating for composting in his Brooklyn Community. 

The piece juxtaposes textural improvisations with haunting melodies reflected across the alto flute, trumpet, viola and cello. The middle of the piece quotes Queen’s “I want to break free” which seems very fitting for its lyrics and message in a world where we are continuously destroying our planet while knowing and uncovering evidence of the consequences. 

The electronics track is a recording of the 2018 Maple Fire. While this fire is believed to be caused by humans, the higher temperatures associated with climate change in Washington State increase the likelihood and strength of future wildfires. The text written by Buckel was arranged here to simulate an eerie Hildegard-like chorale that seems pleasant on the outside but is actually deeply disheartening. My hope is that upon listening you will examine your actions to reconsider their impact on the environment and the world around you.   – Kate


Thoughts and Prayers by Kevin Joest

The crux of the piece comes from the anger and frustration of inaction. At the root of the various specific debates in our society is the very real fear that inaction will allow these events to continue happening unchecked. The 2016 presidential campaign, subsequent election, and its aftermath eventually became a static of television, news, and social media for which volume is at 10 and content is at 1. I wanted to highlight that idea of the cheapness of talk, so while there are only 5 or 6 sources for the tape, they are blended in such a way that only the moments of clarity and substance really are heard. The rest is just voices trying to outspeak each other. On the other side, the trumpet music is all derived from Taps, which serves as a requiem to those who were slain in the too-numerous tragedies. It becomes most recognizable toward the end, as the derivations that are least like the original come at the beginning, creating a sense of movement from distortion to clarity, of many voices into one. Taps is a powerful melody with deep ties to a great many people, and to use it was a deliberate choice to elicit the connotations of death, war, sacrifice, and loss, but also gratitude, action, and of working to uphold beliefs through those actions. The disparity between the empty chatter of the tape and the ultimate sacrifice alluded to by the trumpet is bridged by the quotes from Dominique Christina. Extraordinary in these words is her conviction that the ideas one has and expresses should not be said to be convincing or browbeating. She says “maybe, [if said with enough conviction], these things become instructive, and maybe you find they are also belonging to you.” It’s that sense of belonging as the powerful call to action that inspired the work.  - Kevin


My Body My Choice by Niloufar Nourbakhsh

It is actually quite simple. It is my body, and I get to decide what I want to do with it. For centuries such a simple and basic right has been denied to us, all over the world. And today, we are witness to the passage of the most stringent abortion laws in the United States of America. We cannot and must not fail in protecting our most basic right: My Body, My Choice. – Niloufar


Waiting? By Kate Amrine

Waiting? for alto flute and trumpet was originally commissioned by Leanne Friedman for Femmelody Music Collective. It was inspired by the struggle of being patient, enjoying the process, waiting for opportunities to come while simultaneously wanting to speed up to where everything is already figured out. I’ve found this to be especially apparent in other musicians at the beginning of their careers who are hungry for opportunities. I also called it Waiting? as an ode to Waiting for Godot, where the characters are waiting for someone who never arrives because as much as we want to be able to rehearse and plan for different situations, some things are truly out of our control and we don’t know if it will happen. - Kate

Close Fight by JacobTV

Close fight for trumpet, soundtrack and video was written in 2014 for Stephen Burns with financial support from the FPK. Based on interviews with 2 boxers after a match that took place June 22, 2013 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. WBA welter weight champion Paulie Malignaggi, hailing from Brooklyn NY, defended his title against Adrian “The Problem” Broner, from Cincinnati, Ohio. - JacobTV


linger by inti figgisvizueta

linger uses unison materials and flexible time structures to highlight registral discrepancies between the duet’s instrumentation. Through long repetitive structures broken by sudden shifts in harmony and pattern, the duet’s choices in ornamentation, rhythmic relationships, and duration in module length all serve the exploration of timbre and co-habitated sonic space. The harmonies transform linearly, each plucked from track of a certain album by a certain artist-- the result is an interesting combination of pentatonic and major modalities that imply monochromatic cityscapes and deeply rich foliage. - inti


I’m Sorry Not Sorry by Ruby Fulton

I got the idea for I’m sorry, not sorry when I read that Hillary Clinton was the first presidential candidate in US history to say the words “I’m sorry” to her supporters during her concession speech after losing the 2016 election to Donald Trump. I found that shocking and it made me think about how strange it is that women feel the need to apologize so much more than men. Beyonce has an awesome and powerful song called “Sorry” that features the lyrics “Sorry, I ain’t sorry,” which gave me the idea for the words and the concept of the piece. And I stole the harmonies from a passage in Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, Op. 110.  - Ruby

We Are Women by Kate Amrine

We are Women was originally written for Project eGALitarian as an ode to strong women. Rather than write a trumpet trio with three distinct parts, the piece is a leadsheet of cells that the players freely switch between with a defined intro and outro. When originally researching material for the piece I came across the Wikipedia definitions of feminine and masculine and put together a word bank of words from each category. The aleatoric nature of the piece combined with the choice of words from the list make the piece completely different on each performance. This recorded version also includes some layering of our improvisation as an additional texture. - Kate

This is My Letter to the World by Jay Rizzetto with text by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson’s poem “This is My Letter to the World” was believed to have been written in 1862 and published four years after her death. Dickinson was known for being a recluse yet often communicated to many people through writing letters. Jay Rizzetto’s work based on Dickinson’s poem is a very deceptively complex piece composed for trumpet and narrator. The balance between the poem and the trumpet is managed nicely by adding a bucket mute. While the poem can be interpreted in many ways, I experience it as the view of an artist about their work. As an activist and storyteller, I put together this album of different stories and viewpoints that I am excited to share with the world - and by doing so - it is out of my hands and free for the world to hear and experience but as Emily says - judge tenderly of me. So many of the issues that these pieces bring up (climate change, gun violence, identify, discrimination, abortion rights, etc) are extremely important to me and I hope that upon listening you will act and inspire others to do everything they can to make the world a better place. - Kate


It Wasn’t Something We Could Control

This piece takes as its text the words of Jason Rochester and Cecilia Gonzalez, the heads of a family now living separately in Georgia and Mexico, respectively. Cecilia came to the USA illegally years ago, and, fearing deportation since Donald Trump's election, had self-deported to Mexico. She has been attempting to get a return visa, but has been unable to do so, and the family remains separated as of July, 2019. Jason Rochester had voted for Donald Trump in 2016; since the family's separation, he has become an active immigration law crusader. - Howie


Thank you to everyone who made this album possible. I had so much fun learning this music and working with everyone to put it together. I hope you enjoy listening to it and that it inspires future conversations. Special thank you to all of the musicians for learning this music (and my music!) with me, all of the composers who wrote such powerful pieces, Mike Tierney for making all of the recording and editing sessions a great time, Philip Blackburn and the rest of the team at innova, and Ford Fourqurean for his endless support.