CONNER SINGH VANDERBEEK
ethnomusicologist // media artist
Let's talk about our feelings.
lifting the burden of silence from depression and mental illness
Depression has been one of the more tenacious challenges I’ve faced in my life, and the nature of dealing with mental illness in America is that no one talks about it. I have lost friends because they have turned depression against me: “I feel bad that I can’t help you, therefore I cannot associate with you.” I know this scenario is not unique to me. It is because of these circumstances that I have created Let’s talk about our feelings.
Let’s talk about our feelings. is a two-volume project dedicated to the creation an artistic space for people to share their experiences with mental illness and emotional trauma. I have compiled these stories and created a musical journal around them. My hope is that you help me share these stories so that we may start a dialogue about mental illness. Mental illness affects 1 in 5 in this country, yet a silence as heavy as the pressure of secrecy hangs over its discussion, making our society unaware of how to talk about these often crippling issues.
This is far too important an issue to let sit in silence any longer.
This project is made of the stories of others, with a few pieces of my own. I have had these texts spoken, and I have composed the backing to them. We are a small community, but I believe the experiences shared in these volumes are not unique to us.
So, let’s talk about our feelings.
David Alejandro Hernandez is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. His poetry has appeared in the Berkeley Poetry Review and in a song cycle titled The way they understood themselves, which premiered at Northwestern University in May 2015. David has most recently been awarded the 2015-2016 Joan Lee Yang Memorial Prize, the Academy of American Poets Prize, and the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize. David is currently a candidate in the MFA program in poetry at Washington University in St. Louis.
Savannah Couch is a graduate of Northwestern University (2016) with a Theatre and Chinese Language double major. While most of her artistic endeavors are movement oriented (choreography and dance performance), she also dabbles in directing and narration. She made her narration debut in 2015 in Conner Singh Vanderbeek’s “Why Are You Mad Today?”. Savannah is currently in Taiwan on an English-teaching Fulbright scholarship.
Elisabeth Lusche is a fourth year undergraduate Trumpet Performance major at Northwestern University. Her primary teachers are Robert Sullivan and Channing Philbrick. Elisabeth has been a student at Berkshire Summer Music for the past two years where her teachers have been David Krauss and Joseph Foley. Elisabeth is an avid fan of poetry, and she has competed at the state level of Poetry Out Loud recitation competition in her home state of Alabama.
Miki Nagahara is a Violin Performance and German dual-degree student at Northwestern University. She is a recipient of the Farwell Trust Award from the Musicians Club of Women. Nagahara made her poetry debut reading Conner Singh VanderBeek's poem "Let me try this again" at his April 2015 recital. She studies violin with Shmuel Ashkenasi.