I recently had the opportunity to hear Dr. Loretta Notareschi present a lecture about her latest string quartet called String Quartet OCD. This work is an intense and passionate narrative of the composer's own struggle with and journey through postpartum OCD. After her daughter was born, she dealt with postpartum OCD for a year.
Notareschi says that at first she was a bit nervous about presenting a work about such a deeply personal struggle. There were concerns about the subject matter until she thought about many of the works she's heard where male composers have written about not only their deeply personal struggles but also their drug-induced hazes and other life experiences. Why shouldn't there be a piece about the intensely personal issues with which women deal?
The work was premiered this month by the local Denver new music group The Playground Ensemble. It was featured on Colorado Public Radio. Now Notareschi is hosting an Indiegogo campaign to record and release the work.
As someone who lived through postpartum depression, I am thrilled to share Dr. Notareschi's work. The piece has three movements. I was mesmerized when I first heard String Quartet OCD. The work resonated with me on a raw, personal level. Postpartum mental health issues are not exclusive to women. Another fact that is not widely known is that men can also be impacted. Because of her experiences with postpartum OCD, Dr. Notareschi has been working hard to educate people about the disorder and to try and help take the stigma away from postpartum mental illness.
Dr. Loretta Notareschi is a local composer here in Denver. In addition to chamber works, she also writes for large instrument ensembles and choral ensembles. She is a music professor at Regis University. More information about her and her works can be found on her website. Please take a moment to listen to the third movement of String Quartet OCD and consider donating to the Indiegogo campaign to help make the recording a reality.