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Songs of Speculation (excerpt)

Songs of Speculation is a lecture that explodes into multi-form performance, calling on the body, time, and the power of music to reclaim histories forgotten or lost.

2020 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition

2020 / Jillian Walker / Ben Williams / category-other.com, USA

Songs of Speculation is a lecture that explodes into multi-form performance, calling on the body, time, and the power of music to reclaim histories forgotten or lost.

It is a response to the call of Black feminist scholar Hortense Spillers’ evolving paper, “To the Bone: Some Speculations on Touch,” which considers the life and experiences of Sally Hemings; and also deeply explores the concept of Black female subjectivity and life. Songs happens in: ~A lecture space; ~Ancestral spaces; ~A ripple through dimension beyond the playing space, which in this case, is your ears.

The work is woven with and interrupted by original songs performed on a looper pedal; allowing for the recording, layering and amplification of live vocal composition channeled through the spirit of ancestor and muse. This instrument (much like the black feminist), is meant to be taken seriously and handled with great care. The aim of this work is to reanimate hope through the remixing of history--critically speculating and fabulating until it begins to create a future that embraces the radical possibility of living and loving beyond what has been historically prescribed to Black women.

Songs of Speculation (excerpt) was written & performed by Jillian Walker, with sound design & engineering by Ben Williams. Co-produced by Jillian Walker & Ben Williams for category-other.com.


produced by

Jillian Walker

Jillian Walker writes and performs sacred texts for the theatre.

Ben Williams

Ben Williams is an actor, sound designer, and director in NYC.


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