My Name is Amanda Todd: telling her story through music

When Canadian composer Jocelyn Morlock began to compose the music for My Name is Amanda Todd, one of four new Canadian works the NAC Orchestra has commissioned about remarkable Canadian women, she met with Amanda’s mother Carol Todd. 

"That was illuminating" Morlock said. "She feels like Amanda is this positive force, because when Amanda spoke up for herself on social media, that was the start of this sort of positive change."

Amanda Todd was a vibrant 15-year-old from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia who loved singing and expressing herself through music. She tragically took her life on October 10, 2012 after suffering for years from cyber abuse, harassment and bullying at school. Amanda posted a poignant video using a series of flash cards on YouTube, sharing her story and speaking out against bullying. Her message of hope, empathy, and tolerance, has since caused a worldwide groundswell of support and awareness of bullying, cyber abuse and internet safety, Morlock said.

"So many people are being positively affected and they are more aware of what's going on." says Morlock "Or taking personal responsibility not being bullies themselves. There's all kind of snowballing positive influence out of it."

Morlock wanted the idea of social media to be expressed throughout the composition, and so she used repetitive string elements that build and change as the piece unfolds. Like the other works that make up the Life Reflected commissions, My Name is Amanda Todd will be accompanied by multi-media imagery designed by NORMAL that supports its mood and energy. The Creative Producer and Director is Donna Feore.

“Amanda loved music, and found her voice through music, art and multi-media,” says Carol Todd. “We believe this performance will inspire hope, and is a message about humanity and how we must treat each other to be better people.”  

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