I created Art As Social Inquiry in 2008. I wanted to use art and storytelling as a way to investigate the practical, emotional, and political sides of accessing healthcare in the US, and to explore other social issues. Recently, I added songwriting to my social activism toolbox.
I team up with assorted composers who put music to my lyrics, another kind of storytelling. Some lyric-stories convey the private struggles of those trying to get healthcare. Other
songs are a political response to the powers-that-be who thwart efforts to make healthcare a human right. And still others give voice to our tender hearts . But all the lyrics honor life and the human spirit that clings to it.
I call my songwriter-self TBG Pussi Artist, a holdover from my performance art piece Being Pussi Artist as a reminder to listen to my best self.
Brenda Cohen’s band, Deep City Healers, is a project that melds deep, heartfelt lyrics with fingerpicking riffs & heavy choruses. Brenda’s musical life began at 8 years old when she started playing the drums. By 17 she had studied with some of the best jazz drummers in the Philly area. Brenda eventually taught herself guitar. “I’m inspired by all music…whether it’s from a musical, gospel, or heavy metal. Whatever I’m making, I just want it to reach people and have a message.”
Composer Bionic Rhapsodist is a songwriter, producer and performer working in the New York area. His musical output is an eclectic mix, spanning multiple genres, blending the acoustic and the synthetic. A cancer survivor managing diabetes, Bionic Rhapsodist has relied on medical technology for survival throughout his life. He is a true twenty-first century cyborg. His collaboration with Art As Social Inquiry seeks to create powerful music that tells the stories of others who have navigated the American medical system.