There are many reasons to be eager with anticipation for the upcoming “Considering Matthew Shepard” concerts. You might be a big Conspirare fan, just as excited about this performance as any other; you might be a big Craig Hella Johnson fan, eager to support his first concert-length work; you might be personally touched by the legacy of Matt Shepard, hoping to find closure or solace in this tribute; or, like me, you might be aware of a similar act of violence that has happened more recently, and you need to hear this work as a healing balm.
In reality, I am all of these things: I am proud to be a super-fan of all things Conspirare & Craig, I vividly remember Matt Shepard’s story (though I was only 11 at the time), and I recently lost an old friend to a brutal murder, believed to be fueled by hate.
I remain so saddened that violence on this scale, for any reason, still claims the lives of those around us. As Craig’s work serves to honor Matt Shepard, it also serves those that went before him, have gone since, and will go after him. We feel their absence and carry their memories as best we can, but I feel that this music will give voice to our sorrows and offer us potential for growth. I am thankful for what these concerts will do to heal sad souls, and I hope they serve as a spark to create conversation, question our past, and change our future.
— Lauren Vick, Conspirare Alto