The 2016 election results still feel shocking to many of us, but today it’s been exactly one year since since our country voted Donald Trump into office. There are many ways one might choose to celebrate this historic anniversary (cry? emigrate?), but Brooklyn singer-songwriter Rebecca Pronksy is doing it with the release of a new concept album imagining the mindstate of a defeated Hillary Clinton in the election aftermath.
Volatile political climates have inspired some of history’s most exciting, innovative art, but for Pronsky, who campaigned for Clinton, writing new music last November felt impossible. “I couldn’t imagine how I would get back to it,” she remembers. “I was too shocked and heartbroken to be able to put my experience into words.” She decided to play around with the idea of writing from Hillary’s perspective rather than her own, and quickly found that writing became easier. In just a few sittings, she was able to write the eight songs that became Witness: The Hillary Project.
Performed by an all-female band (The Pantsuits), the songs strive to get inside Clinton’s head and talk about what the loss might have really felt like for her, on a personal rather than political level. Announcing the project lost her a few fans, Pronsky says, but to her, the music is “less about politics and more about recovering from grief.”
You can check out the tunes for yourself at www.witnesshillaryproject.com, or see the album performed live tonight at Rockwood Music Hall in Brooklyn (196 Allen Street). Another performance will happen January 20 at the Duplex (61 Christopher Street, New York).
Photos courtesy Rebecca Pronsky
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Catherine Plato is a freelance writer and editor from Oakland, California. Follow her on Twitter @catherineplato.