Reactions to fresh inc all stars

We recently received this beautiful message on Facebook from an attendee at our fresh inc all stars concert at Constellation Chicago. With the permission of the writer, we are happy to share it with all of you!

Tonight, I attended the Fifth House Ensemble: fresh inc all stars at Constellation concert. And I have to share my experience at this amazing collection of truly talented artists.

Every piece was incredible in its own right, but there was one piece in particular that truly opened my eyes to my own flaws. The piece “Mark J Ralph” by William Pearson tackles the arduous task of communicating effectively. We all have moments in our every day lives where conveying our intentions may be laborious. In moments like these, we may grow frustrated with ourselves, we may grow irritated with our audience, and we may even grow silent. While introducing the piece, Pearson mentioned how he wrote segments for horn that are actually impossible to play, making every performance its own unique experience. Through Pearson’s use of auditory symbols and Parker Nelson’s amazing performance on horn ,which perfectly harmonized both sound and visual performance, we are given the gift of a new found level of empathy for those who do not communicate in ways we are accustom.

My own personal connection to this piece involves my lack of a relationship with my grandfather. He passed away when I was young, but was experiencing the repercussions of a major stroke during the times I remember of him. Due to my immaturity, I never took the time to find ways of communicating with him. “Mark J Ralph” connected with this missed opportunity with my grandfather, a man I later learned made a huge impact on his community and family. Through this piece, I was able to empathize with the inability to tell your own story. Although I have experienced the frustration of not being properly understood, I take for granted, everyday, my ability to communicate through spoken word.

I spent some time working in the mental health field. I preached, everyday, about the importance of effectively communicating and active listening. Pearson’s powerful work illuminated the difficulties of doing so. It was difficult to sit through this piece without getting emotional. Tear filled eyes, I was reminded of every time a patient with a speech impediment also had difficulties leaving their home and difficulties forming relationships with others. I was reminded of patients who fell silent due to the frustration of not being understood. And I was reminded of patients I have ignored or dismissed due to an inability to understand.

Luckily, I was not in a medical position at the time. However, I am currently pursuing a career in nursing. This work of art has truly changed me in a way I did not realize I needed to change. Feeling the pain in the silence made me realize how many stories I dismissed. I, now have a growing empathy toward those individuals who must communicate in other ways besides speaking. This work of art displayed how effective communication can occur when no words have been spoken at all. I am truly grateful to Pearson, Nelson, and the members of Fifth House Ensemble for showcasing such a beautiful masterpiece.

So please, support new composers and support Fifth House ensemble by attending their events. I love Bach, but I have never been so moved by a piece in my entire life.

– Kristen Joi Hoyles

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