It all started to come together last year when Earthwork Music was asked to partner with the Library of Congress to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Alan Lomax’s trip to Michigan. America’s greatest musical archivist, Lomax recorded over nine hundred songs in locations throughout the Great Lakes State in 1938. These Michigan recordings are largely unheard and an effort is being made to celebrate the collection, to disseminate the songs to their places of origin and for songsters of today to re-write and perform them. Having worked with Seeds on innovative after school music programming for the last 5 years, and wanting to create a special creative project for this final cycle in their current grant funding, Earthwork Music is proud to have teamed up with Seeds and Blackbird Arts to create the Quest!
For the last 4 months several of us Earthworkers have embarked upon a creative adventure with middle and high schoolers from 7 schools in the Northwest lower peninsula, discovering the awesomeness of both our shared home place and our individual life path and in doing so, we created a professional touring performance to share with our communities on May 9th at the Opera House in Traverse. The music we perform will be a combination of original songs, inspired by our home places, and re-writes of old folk songs from the Lomax Michigan treasure trove, a truly magnificent collection.
Together, with Earthwork Musicians and Seeds Site Coordinators as their guides, students have been musicking and questing, placemaking and researching. Delving into the depths of our rich heritage and discovering treasures to share! Embracing the miraculous uniqueness and limitless potential of each of their own individual journeys and embarking upon explorations of the heart and soul with music, art, movement and poetry. Voyaging together into the sea of music, embracing both the personal and the collective. Boldly and respectfully exploring their local history with field trips to historical societies and natural places. Adventuring into new uncharted creative realms together in cooperative collaboration, with a safe, encouraging, enthusiastic, exciting and magical atmosphere contained and maintained by their guides.
The concert will feature students from Brethren, Manistee, Frankfort, Benzie Central, Suttons Bay, Forest Area and Kalkaska Schools and will help raise funds for future arts based education programming while raising the roof at the historic Opera House, celebrating Michigan's awesomeness: past, present and future! See you there on May 9th.
The Earthwork Music collective believes in the intrinsic and historical power of music to raise both community and self-awareness and serves to facilitate and encourage original music in the state of Michigan and beyond.