Identity and Music and (Trans)Gendering the Musical Score with composer Hope Salmonson





Have you ever looked behind the curtain and thought about who is behind the music you love? Do you ever contemplate what draws you to a piece of music or composer; and how that is linked to your identity?

What if you’re a trans composer?

How does that shape your music? Or does it?

In this episode of Hey, Cis! we’re joined by Hope Salmonson (She/Her), a composer and student at Mount Allison University who is the heart behind the research project “(Trans)Gendering the Musical Score: Exploring Transgender Identity through Composition”.

Hope Salmonson, from Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia), is a queer, trans composer and tubist, trying to navigate the very big world around her. Hope’s compositional practice is inspired by community and connection to others. Her works have been performed by Ensemble Allure, andPlay and the Mount Allison Elliott Chorale, among others, and in April 2021 she hosted a recital of her compositions, featuring seventeen performers and five premiere performances.

Hope was the featured composer at the University of New Brunswick’s 2021 Contemporary Music Festival, and also participated in the 2021 Young Women Composers Camp and the 2020 Art Song Lab. In her free time, Hope enjoys gaming, cooking for her loved ones, and singing.

A short clip of Hope’s piece Looking Forward//Looking Back can be heard at the beginning of this episode. You can explore more of her work on her website

Photo credit: Kaelyn Boutilier, @photography_by_kaels on Instagram)