Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue)

ABERFAN WALES 1966On October 21, 1966, in the small mining village of Aberfan, Wales, a man-made catastrophe occurred when a mountain of coal waste collapsed on a primary school, killing 116 children and 28 adults.

Informed by one of the most poignantly tragic disasters of our time, Aberfan is a full length contemporary composition that uses excerpts of melody and lyric from a folk song my mother wrote following the tragedy.  Music will be presented both in live performance and immersive installation with black & white photographs, such as the one above, taken by Life photojournalist IC Rapoport, who went to Aberfan to “photograph the psychic mess”.

By addressing the visceral, personal experiences of the disaster, Aberfan investigates how art, together with technology, can be used for experiential healing, while implying the disaster’s universal relevance as an almost-forgotten humanitarian crime.

I am seeking support to fund the recording and presentation of this project.  

DONATE

A psychological and spiritual rendering as much as a musical one, Aberfan is an excavation into my own soul. As Alice Miller discovered the trauma of her own childhood through spontaneous painting and wrote about in her many books, this is the story of power and destruction wrought over all the world in the willful, negligent and unconscious devastation upon the most vulnerable and the call to transform, through my music, the inscrutable events.

PRESS

RADIO INTERVIEW   “I see [Aberfan] as the epitome of the folk process, because folk music, in all its definitions, is about stories.” (Nick Noble, WICN)

Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization.  Contributions on behalf of Aberfan must be made payable to NYFA, and are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.  All donations will be acknowledged on my website and project page unless requested kept private.

If sending a check, please make payable to NYFA & mail to:  Vault of the Valley Music, 27 Abbott Street, Greenfield, MA, 01301.

Here is a demo sample of voice and piano parts:  

“Their daily rendition [in morning assembly, 9am] of ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ – a hymn written a few miles away in the bucolic tranquillity of the Usk Valley – was postponed that day.

They would sing it before they went home when the head teacher planned to wish her pupils a safe and enjoyable holiday.” (Aberfan:  A Mistake that Cost a Village its Children, by Ceri Jackson, BBC News, October 21, 2016)

The catastrophic collapse occurred about 9:15am.

Aerial view, October 21, 1966, courtesy of AGU Blogosphere

(Photo top of page by IC Rapoport 1966)

Aberfan is funded in part by Puffin Foundation, Thendara Foundation, Puffin Foundation West and Deupree Family Foundation.

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“…Continuing the dialogue between art and the lives of ordinary people.”

thendara foundation

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deupreefamilyfoundation

 

“(Art) the quiet work of centuries…” President John F. Kennedy

“The poet, the artist, the musician, continues the quiet work of centuries, building bridges of experience between peoples…reminding man of the universality of his feelings, desires and despairs… thus, art is political in the most profound sense, not as a weapon in the struggle, but an instrument of understanding of the futility of struggle…”

President John F. Kennedy

Remarks on  Behalf of the National Cultural Center, 29 November 1962:  https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHA-145-008.aspx

Words of such insight and beauty for anyone, yet especially to those of us who happen to be creative artists, and of necessity, work alone.

My deep appreciation to Kelly Bennett and Dan Blask at Massachusetts Cultural Council for posting this link.

Spotify: Laura Siersema Trio Live at 1794 Meetinghouse

The Trio Live album is now available on Spotify!

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If you listen to music on Spotify, there’s a small thing you can do that’d be a big help: FOLLOW me there!

Once I get to 250 followers, Spotify will “verify” my account, which opens up the possibility my music can be added to their playlists.

Thank you for this support.

iTunes: Laura Siersema Trio Live @ 1794 Meetinghouse

1794triocoverFor anyone that uses iTunes, the new release is now up!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/laura-siersema-trio-live-at-1794-meetinghouse/id1209345086

Please take a listen and add to your playlists.

Your support is so important!  Thank you.

Artist

The “Artist” is timeless and would like to move about freely — but for the effects of modern world, which is always changing, all intent on crushing what is creative —

Yet there is so much in me that suppresses and belittles, it is world turned inside and that is the horror —

This is what we struggle against every day in our practice to be free — and yet, the strength, the fortitude and vision is already in us, in the form of a single soul — and what beauty it can bear —

From the emptying there comes a better way, which need not demean, compare, or count the value in numbers or time —

Amen —

Solzhenitsyn: “A work of art…”

Image result for aleksandr solzhenitsyn spouse“A work of art contains its verification in itself:  artificial, strained concepts do not withstand the test of being turned into images; they fall to pieces, turn out to be sickly and pale, convince no one.  Works which draw on truth and present it to us in live and concentrated form grip us, compellingly involve us, and no one ever, not even ages hence, will come forth to refute them.”

Nobel Lecture, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1970

Laura Siersema Trio: Live Album!

1794triocoverHooray!  Our trio album, Live at 1794 Meetinghouse is available at CDBaby!  Digital only!

Billy Klock and Wim Auer played with me for three years following the release of Talon of the Blackwater in 2009.  These guys gave their hearts and souls to my music.  What great champions!  I love them both.

Listening to these tracks over the last few weeks — our last performance together — has been a great joy.  At long last, an “official” release!  Dedicated to them.

Please take a listen!   Buy yourself an individual track or the whole album!

Thank you for your support.

 

Studio Walk

There is still time to make your year-end tax deductible donation!

Donate Now

For the past two days, we have been in the studio finishing the piano parts!  Here’s a little tour going from the control room to the piano room and back:

What a gift to be able to work!

Your contribution ensures the recording of Aberfan continues!  Please give what you can and tell two friends!

Aberfan is a sponsored project  of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization.  All  donations are tax deductible.

Thank you!

Almost Halfway There!

In just a few days, $175 has come in!  Fantastic!  Join them with your tax deductible gift today.

A total of $8370 has been raised!  With gifts ranging from $10 to $2250, individuals, small non-profit foundations and institutions are helping us get closer to the recording of Aberfan being a reality!

$1630 more will get us halfway there!  Please give what you can and tell two friends!

Donate Now

Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue) is a sponsored project  of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization.  All  donations are tax deductible.

Thank you!