Show artwork for Wild

Artistic Insights: Notes from Du Yun and Nathan Gunn on In Our Daughter's Eyes

Posted on: April 5, 2022

In Our Daughter's Eyes, a brand new, deeply moving work from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun and Beth Morrison Projects opens at REDCAT as part of our Off Grand series next week. Ahead of its premiere, Du Yun and baritone Nathan Gunn, who stars as a struggling father-to-be, share their thoughts and insights on this meaningful piece.

From composer Du Yun:

"This is a piece from me wishing to honor the good role models in my life, other than my mother: my father, my grandfather, and his father. 

It is important for women, at least for me, to hear about men’s vulnerabilities, their journey of falling apart, mending, and moving forward. The flawed societal masculinity often obstructs that vulnerability and forces men to hold in, not listen, and hide sensitivities. 

Without my father’s family’s silent support, an inter-generational effort, really, I would not have had musical training from an early age. No one in the family studied music. We were farmers and factory workers. My father bought me my first piano with five gold bars that my grandfather made from his coffin-making job. My grandmother hid the gold and passed them along to my father, at her deathbed, to use for my education. I was not born then.   

Much of this music was written in a pandemic, a decline of my father’s health, and some personal choices in my life. I wish to honor all of us while we are here. 

I’m glad to see some of my family's stories are reflected in the libretto, so are Michael’s and Nathan‘s.  It gives me great joy to work with these two men who happen to be great fathers themselves. I hope this kind of story continues to be told from all perspectives.”

From baritone Nathan Gunn:

"Help is something that we are often reluctant to ask for, and yet it is a constant companion throughout our lives.  Five years ago, I needed help.  I wanted to create a show about the journey from boyhood to manhood: an "Odyssey" for the modern man. 

The subject was neither popular nor easy, but this is why I asked Beth Morrison to champion it.  And if there is a hero in the story about the creation of In Our Daughter's Eyes it is she. Beth expertly put together a team of artists whose strengths became amplified when working with one another, and the result is what you are about to experience: a beautiful story of hope, sacrifice, surrender, death and rebirth.

The 'hero' of our story, though, has no name. He is just a man. But like Odysseus in Homer's epic tale, he discovers that the journey he must take is an 'inner' journey, and the monsters he must face are of his own making.  Ironically, it's only through his daughter's eyes that his path is finally revealed to him."

Still need tickets to the show? Get them here.