Opening Up






Narrator & String Quartet

premiered by

"Hearings" Concert from the JUSTICE (Just US) Concert Series

commissioned by

Fear No Music for their "Hearings" Concert

Opening Up


Opening Up for Narrator and String Quartet (2019) is dedicated, with gratitude, to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford; it was commissioned by Fear No Music for their "Hearings" concert, exploring the impact of the Kavanaugh Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation hearings on our country. In the wake of #MeToo, it is disheartening to note the continued, willful ignorance of the senators who distrust the life-long impact of these kinds of attacks upon their survivors. As a woman, the mother of a young girl, and a mentor to college-aged students, I am grateful for the patriotic acts of women like Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford, who endured brutal public scrutiny to draw attention to the inappropriate behavior of people who took advantage of their positions of power and relative physical strength. The text for this work is drawn directly from Ford's written testimony, submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee; the title comes from Senator Cory Booker’s comments at the United States Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on September 26, 2018:


“I stepped out during the break and there are literally hundreds of thousands of people watching your testimony right now, and note after note that I got, people in tears, feeling pain and anguish. Not just feeling your pain but feeling their own, who have not come forward.


You are opening up to air hurt and pain that goes on across this country. And for that, the word I would use, it’s nothing short of heroic. Because what you’re doing for our nation right now, besides giving testimony germane to our office, is you are speaking truth that this country needs to understand.


How we deal with survivors who come forward right now is unacceptable. And the way we deal with this, unfortunately, allows for the continued darkness of this culture to exist. And your brilliance, shining light on to this, speaking truth, is nothing short of heroic.”

—     Program Notes: Andrea Reinkemeyer


Excerpts from the, "Written Testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford United States Senate Judiciary Committee September 26, 2018"

 My name is . . .
I am a Professor of . . .
I received . . .
I was . . .  I am . . .
I earned . . . I received my degree . . .
I have been married to . . .
we have two children.

I am not here because I want to be.
I am terrified.
I am here because I believe it is my civic duty
to tell you what happened to me.

 [His] assault on me drastically altered my life.

 I understand and appreciate the importance
of your hearing from me directly about what happened to me
and the impact it has had on my life and on my family.

 It was important to me to describe the details of the assault in my own words.

 . . . the details about that night . . .
They . . . have haunted me

 One evening that summer, I attended a small gathering
People were drinking beer
I drank one beer

Early that evening,
I went up a narrow set of stairs, leading from the living room
I was pushed from behind into a bedroom.
I couldn't see who pushed me.
[they] came into the bedroom and locked the door behind them.

 I thought [he] was accidentally going to kill me.

 I believed he was going to rape me.