Midori Samson

Day 62: Midori Samson

Midori Samson with Brandon Scott Rumsey

Wisconsin and Michigan, United States

Celebrating children’s voices using music composition is an example of what peace means to us, and “Crystals (on Peace)” models the childlike play in our classrooms. Its structure is inspired by an activity where students write “I am” poems—like the one Midori wrote for “Crystals”—and compose musical gestures for each text line. “Crystals” is also a celebration of identity. During the COVID-19 pandemic, musicians have lost their ability to connect with audiences in person. Camera angles in “Crystals” allow viewers to be up-close to Midori’s musicality and humanity, despite the physical distance that the pandemic has created between us.


Midori Samson (she/her) is a bassoonist, educator, activist, and scholar; she is happiest in artistic projects that simultaneously engage all of these identities. Her recent activities include collaborations with Artists Striving to End Poverty, Chicago’s Civic Orchestra and Yo-Yo Ma, and the Peace Studio in Rwanda. She is currently completing a doctorate in bassoon performance and social work.

Brandon Scott Rumsey (he/him) is a composer and teacher based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His compositions frequently explore themes of love, nature, and conversation. He believes that music is a powerful, emotionally-centered art form that can not only open our minds to experiences in new and exciting ways, but can provide opportunities to make us more empathetic people. Midori and Brandon have created together since 2013. They are Co-Directors of Trade Winds Ensemble, a group of teaching artists who lead composition workshops with social impact organizations. Recent partners include a refugee center in Chicago and a shelter for SOGIE youth in Detroit.


We invite you to create your own “I am” poem using this template:  I am _____. I can _____. I offer _____. I am _____.  I love _____. I wish _____. I fear _____. I know _____.  I see _____. I dream _____. I create _____. I am _____.

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