The Way Forth - Temporary Residence Ltd

Rachel Grimes

The Way Forth


The Way Forth, a new folk opera from Rachel Grimes, encompasses lush layers of voices and orchestrations in an experiential, non-linear investigation highlighting perspectives of Kentucky women from 1775 to today. Inspired by a treasure-trove of family documents, photos, and letters spanning several generations, Grimes began in 2016 to research some of the more vexing questions that came to the surface about these people, places, and events. The songs that make up The Way Forth weave back in time through a postcard, a personal account of a long life on a farm, traces of folk tunes, names, places, and rivers, all woven into an emotional fabric of yearning, nostalgia, grief, and the rich intimacies of everyday life. Initially solo voices are heard above vivid orchestrations, expanding with the choral voices of the community through fragments of traditional church music and popular tunes. The scope widens to include a modern male narrator’s reflections on a place battered by greed, civil war, bigotry, and the exploitation of natural resources. Through music, voice, and film, The Way Forth honors the emotional legacy of the silenced, the holistic, the beauty in quotidian life, and explores the eternal grace and redemption of time, as symbolized by the great Dix and Kentucky Rivers.


1. Got Ahold of Me
2. Postcard from Pauline
3. Patsy
4. Sisterhood of Man
5. Red House School
6. The Hysterical Society
7. Nowhere on Earth
8. There Is No Other
9. The Spells
10. Fontaine Ferry
11. For So Long
12. Dix River Doxology
13. Dolly
14. Bill of Sale
15. End of Dominion
16. Sara
17. A New Land

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