Forward Music Project 1.0 & 2.0

By cellist Amanda Gookin, and video and projection designer S. Katy Tucker

Forward Music Project commissions new works for solo cello by today’s most forward-thinking composers that encourage social change and empowerment for women and girls.

Forward Music Project confronts the audience with a visceral experience of music, light, and stories that explore a range of issues facing women today, from the LGBTQ+ to reproductive rights, sexual violence and empowerment.

These works are performed through the lens of solo cello, electronics, projection art by S Katy Tucker, and audio interludes from the composers. In performance, Amanda sings, chants, fights, gasps, and breathes life into these new works.

Forward Music Project 1.0 premiered in the Spring Revolution Festival at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY on March 1, 2017. Forward Music Project 2.0 premiered at National Sawdust on March 22, 2019.

The project has toured to The Kennedy Center’s DIRECT CURRENT Festival and Georgetown University in Washington DC; The Wallis Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles, CA; OK Electric Festival in Tulsa, OK; and Classical:NEXT at De Doelen in Rotterdam, NL.

Composers commissioned:

1.0: Angélica Negrón, Nathalie Joachim, Leila Adu, Jessica Meyer, Allison Loggins-Hull, Amanda Feery, Morgan Krauss

2.0: Paola Prestini, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Shelley Washington, Alex Temple, Kamala Sankaram


Amanda Gookin, Cello

S. Katy Tucker, Video and Projection Designer


With a cello and a cohort of female composers, Amanda Gookin pushes classical forward, LA Times, May 30

Education & Schools’ Workshop Performances

Education, engagement and empowerment are integral to the story of this project. Forward Music Project inspired National Sawdust’s 2019 Student CoLab, the venue’s flagship education program for middle school students at El Puente Beacon Leadership Center and MS50 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which you can read more about here. Over 100 young people enjoyed a workshop performance at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in LA in May 2019.

In Development: Forward Music Project 3.0

Through sound design, electronic instruments, vocalization, and performance art with synchronized video installations and a fully-immersive concert environment, 3.0: fever dreams offers composers a unique collaborative space to create art that probes the tension of perception, power, “truth,” and reality in an era of “fake news” rhetoric.

To premiere Fall 2020, between the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and the upcoming Presidential Election.

Composers: Pamela Z, inti figgis-vizueta, Seong Ae Kim, Camila Agosto, Sarah Hennies, Jessie Montgomery