Many thanks to Hillary Hoffman, Jay Lord and George for advising me on this latest grant application for Aberfan. For their clear minds and guidance as I dug my way from the poetic to the precise. Here’s a little bit:
‘Aberfan is an elegy not only for the people of Aberfan who suffered the loss of a generation and the “wounded soul of the Welsh” who saw “their beautiful country being destroyed when the coal mines came to the valleys”, (BBC Radio 4) but for our world, besieged by an unbridled industry pillaging the land and capitalizing on its riches for individual gain. The tragedy of Aberfan and the music it informed manifest the abject sorrow and rage resulting from the devastating human and environmental impacts of the fossil fuel industry, more recently embodied by mountaintop-removal coal mining and fracking to extract natural gas. This project confronts and aims to disrupt our complacency.
The penetrating quality of musical vibrations in synergy with photographic art, resonating where words cannot, evokes a greater world where all are connected as living beings on a living earth. In bearing witness to the single atrocity of Aberfan, one can begin to question the arrogance of “progress” built on destruction, absent the soul.’
For the performance or installation of Aberfan, we need money to create a studio recording and develop a design for the visual element.
To participate in helping make this project happen, contribute here: www.tinyurl.com/FundAberfan
BBC Radio 4 program produced by Maggie Ayre.
Very excitable energy today. Working on 3 grants while Emma and Moon enjoy the sun.
To participate in making the recording of Aberfan happen, make your tax deductible donation here: www.tinyurl.com/FundAberfan.
Today I came across this email exchange I’d had back in 2003 with journalist Suzie Siegel. She’d reviewed my first album, When I Left Loss. In fact, hers was the first review of my music ever done!
“I was invited to present my work for a Spirituality Seminar in the MSW program @ Syracuse University last year. Ever since then I have wondered about this connection between my work and the ways in which other women experience and explore their own paths–for my work is one version of what it is to individuate–and based on the way my heart was racing that day, I thought I had come upon something very important.”
Suzie wrote back: “Although I was never in the entertainment area of journalism, I often reviewed CDs by women because the work simply wasn’t getting done. Music by men dominates even progressive radio stations, such as WMNF in Tampa. I think women need to hear the stories and voices of other women. Otherwise, we’re always seeing ourselves as reflected by men.”
How good it is to be reminded of something you already knew.
Graphic Design Helene Zuckerbrod
“The dreadful calamity of the Aberfan landslide disaster remains perhaps the most poignant and memorable disaster in the UK since the Second World War. The combination of a failure of responsibility by the relevant authorities, the dreadful events in the moment of the landslide, the heroic but mostly futile rescue attempts, and the appalling behaviour of some parties in the aftermath of the disaster created an extraordinary mix…” AGU Blogosphere
Large art projects like this cannot be done without your contributions. To ensure that Aberfan is recorded, make your tax deductible donation here: www.tinyurl.com/FundAberfan.
(Pantglas Junior School, Aberfan, 1966. Photo courtesy of AGU Blogosphere)
Takuma and I met several years ago when I was looking for players for my trio. As synchronicity would have it, I was having lunch in Boston with Michael Farquharson, a professor / producer at Berklee College of Music. I mentioned I’d be going to meet a drummer after lunch. “Who’s that?” I answered “Takuma”. Smiling, he said “He’s the one I use for recording my studio projects!” There was no doubt left in my mind.
Shortly after my first rehearsal with Takuma, I had a dream in which the most beautiful, fluid percussion surrounded me. Not unlike my experience during rehearsal, cushioned in the most wonderful wash of sound, I felt I was in another world, the place where my music was originally created.
At some point, I knew we would work together again. Aberfan will be that opportunity.
Laura Siersema is composer of Aberfan (7 pianos, voice and tools of rescue), a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization. All donations are tax deductible. Your contribution ensures we can return to the studio to complete its recording.
Photo by Shuhei Teshima