All proceeds from the sale of this release will benefit the National Network to End Domestic Violence (

Live performance, October 2013, Northern Illinois University.

Beginning life as a poetry cycle, Rachel Rising was turned into a new classical song cycle, receiving its premiere performance in 2008, and excerpts and full performances have been presented in other venues since then. It is in the process of evolving into an immersive, experimental multimedia project. As that evolution is happening it is being presented in other forms, such as spoken word/performance and improvisation.

The poetry cycle came in the creative aftermath of a violent and bizarre domestic situation, but is much more than one person’s simple catharsis. It stands as allegory for anyone who has been through a “dark night of the soul”, whatever one’s faith might be — or not. It is a struggle of dark and light, of violence and peace, of restraint and freedom. In other words, the human experience.


released August 18, 2014

Rebekkah Hilgraves, soprano, poet
Rob Deemer, conductor, composer
Valerie Blair*, piano
Ann Smelser*, violin
David Lee, viola
Linc Smelser*, cello
Gregory Heintz, bass
Greg Barrett*, clarinet & bass clarinet
Kristine Mertens, oboe
Robyn Rogers, bassoon
*NIU School of Music Faculty

Recorded at Northern Illinois University, October 2013
Mastered at RadHausUS (

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