An evening featuring two NationalSawdust+ regulars
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Creative pioneer Laurie Anderson and musician/activist Tiokasin Ghosthorse, a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota, return for an evening of music and conversation devoted to the wisdom of nature. An international speaker on Peace, Indigenous and Mother Earth Perspective and a master of the ancient Lakota flute, Ghosthorse will perform original music, including a duet with Anderson, one of the country’s most renowned - and daring - artists whose expansive work tackles a range of contemporary issues, from human rights to climate change. They will take part in a conversation, moderated by NationalSawdust+ curator Elena Park. The evening will also feature spoken word poet Lynne Procope (“Chanting the Waters” by Craig Santos Perez) and a virtual visit from Dishuan Harris of the Soul Fire Farm, based in upstate New York.
This event kicks off For Nature, three NS+ programs exploring the natural world with artists and musicians, scientists, and activists working to preserve and restore the environment. The events will spotlight works connected to ocean, land, and the animal kingdom; native and indigenous wisdom; and recent research and ways forward. For Nature is made possible by the generous support of Kathryn and Emmanuel Morlet and the Wescustogo Foundation.
Voyager space sounds courtesy of NASA.
Soul Fire Farm video with Leah Penniman courtesy of Soul Fire Farm.
Often topical and always imaginative, NationalSawdust+ is a lively performance and conversation series in which artists and thinkers share their passion for music and explore timely ideas, making surprising connections. Since National Sawdust’s inception, NS+ has been a home for intimate stories and unexpected artmaking, blurring boundaries between genres and disciplines.
NS+ taps luminaries from theater, film and visual art, literature, science and beyond, to create insightful programs that reflect their own interests. Guests have included Jad Abumrad, Ava DuVernay, Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Min-Jin Lee, Yo-Yo Ma, Nico Muhly, Carl Hancock Rux, Patti Smith, esperanza spalding, Carrie Mae Weems, Marina Abramovic + Laurie Anderson, and Caroline Shaw + Anthony Roth Costanzo + Gandini Juggling. Jeff Tang is consulting producer for the series.
Throughout her colorful career, NationalSawdust+ director and curator Elena Park has moved freely through the worlds of arts, culture, and media. The daughter of Korean immigrants, she and her company Lumahai Productions embrace opportunities for artistic collaboration and social change with artists, thinkers, and communities as well as institutions, large and small.
Elena has served as director/executive producer for In Song video portraits featuring Pretty Yende and Jamie Barton (San Francisco Opera), Jake Heggie's Intonations (Cabrillo Festival), Vân-Ánh Võ (Stanford Live), and Cleveland Orchestra’s In Focus programs conducted by Alan Gilbert and Jane Glover. For the Metropolitan Opera, she is Executive Producer of the Saturday radio broadcasts and was Supervising Producer for the first 140 Live in HD shows. For San Francisco Opera, she is a Strategic Advisor and Curator of the new INSTIGATORS program. Other credits: San Francisco Symphony's MTT25: An American Icon, Bel Canto (feature film), Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle; Strategic Advisor for Cambodian Living Arts and Meyer Sound; Special Advisor for …(Iphigenia); and Artistic Consultant for the Kennedy Center.
Lynne Procope (Reader)
Lynne Procope is a poet, performer, and educator. She is a Cave Canem fellow and former National Poetry Slam champion, whose writing has been published in magazines, journals, reviews, and anthologies across the hemisphere. She was one of the founders of the louderARTS Project where she curated their long-running Monday night reading series. She is a writer in residence at National Sawdust and editor of our nascent ideas platform, MOTIF.
Dishaun Harris (speaker)
Dishaun, aka Native Praxis, is an environmental educator and urban farmer with more than ten years of experience growing food, educating communities on growing food for themselves, and connecting communities back to nature. He is an alumnus of Soul Fire Farm’s Black & LatinX Farmer Immersion Program & BIPOC Builder's Immersion Program, and a member of Soul Fire Speakers Collective. Soul Fire Farm is an Afro-Indigenous centered community farm committed to uprooting racism and seeding sovereignty in the food system. The farm raises and distributes life-giving food as a means to end food apartheid. In 2016, Dishuan started his own culturally relevant agriculture business, Root Life LLC, which focuses on community upliftment and empowerment through urban farming, urban farm training, food justice education, agritourism, nature immersion, and community focused health events. soulfirefarm.org
Jeff Tang (speaker)
Jeff Tang is a longtime co-conspirator on Elena Park's NationalSawdust+ series, first as Associate Producer (since 2017) and now as Consulting Producer. A California-based composer and independent creative producer, his ambition is to agitate the cultural-historical narrative. His recent Executive Producer credits include the opera ...(Iphigenia) by jazz icons Wayne Shorter and esperanza spalding, and Sound Health: Renew/Remix with soprano Renée Fleming at the Kennedy Center. His work-fellows include musicians, poets, filmmakers, artists, architects, scientists, and jugglers, and he is a proud member of Park’s independent outfit, Lumahai Productions, and Peoplmovr, a creative studio specializing in involvement that centers anti-racism and equity in its commitment to collective liberation.
Craig Santos Perez (Poet)
Craig is an indigenous Chamoru (Chamorro) from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam). He is a poet, scholar, editor, publisher, essayist, critic, book reviewer, artist, environmentalist, and political activist. He is a Professor in the English Department at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa, where he teaches creative writing, eco-poetry, and Pacific literature, and affiliate faculty with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the Indigenous Politics Program. Craig is the author of two spoken word poetry albums and five books of poetry, spanning from unincorporated territory [hacha] (2008) to Habitat Threshold (2020). His work has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, French, German, and Spanish.
Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned – and daring – creative pioneers. Known primarily for her multimedia presentations, which she has toured internationally, Laurie has cast herself in roles as varied as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist. Her shows include United States I-V (1983), Empty Places (1990), The Nerve Bible (1995), and Songs and Stories for Moby Dick. Her visual work, seen in major museums throughout the United States and Europe, recently culminated in the largest-ever U.S. exhibition of her work at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. In addition to authoring six books and creating the award-winning film Heart of a Dog, Laurie has contributed music to films by Wim Wenders and Jonathan Demme; dance pieces by Bill T. Jones, Trisha Brown, and Molissa Fenley; and a score for Robert Lepage’s Far Side of the Moon. A groundbreaking leader in the use of technology in the arts, her solo touring piece, The End of the Moon, came out of her stint as NASA’s first artist-in-residence. Honors include the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (2007) for her outstanding contribution to the arts and Yoko Ono’s Courage Award for the Arts (2016).
Tiokasin Ghosthorse is a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota and has a long history with Indigenous activism and advocacy. A master musician and a teacher of magical, ancient, and modern sounds, Tiokasin is the Founder, Host and Executive Producer of “First Voices Radio” (formerly “First Voices Indigenous Radio”) for the last 27 years in New York City and Seattle/Olympia, Washington. In 2016, he received a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize from the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy. Other recent recognitions include: Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Fellowship in Music (2016), National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Nominee (2017), Indigenous Music Award Nominee for Best Instrumental Album (2019), National Native American Hall of Fame Nominee (2018, 2019), and New York City’s Peacemaker of the Year (2013). Tiokasin is “a perfectly flawed human being” and a Sundancer in the cosmology of the Lakota Nation.
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS
Alex Alexander (electric djembe)
World renown session drummer, percussionist, producer, songwriter, DJ, World Record holder. Alex has performed & recorded with: Eminem, Dido, Sophie B Hawkins, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Tony Visconti, Bernie Worrell (P-Funk), Ritchie Blackmore, Joy Askew, and Many more! Alex invented the Electric Djembe and will be playing it at the show.
Erik Boyd (bass)
Bassist/producer Erik Boyd is currently recording a solo album with slide bass. His recent touring with Dave Fields, Larry Mitchell, Popa Chubby and Kirsten Thien has taken him to US, Europe, Mumbai, and Alfa Jazz Fest (Ukraine). He was featured in Angelo Badalamenti‘s film soundtrack “Secretary”. He has also performed with Marc Ribot, Phoebe Legere, Elliot Sharp and Black 47. Erik’s current work with Kirsten Thien includes guest artists Raul Midón, Doug MacLeod, Tank and Jelly (Tank and the Bangas) and Hubert Sumlin.
Gabriel Dresdale (cello)
Gabriel Dresdale is a genre-blending, spiritually conscious cellist, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and music educator. Born and raised in Woodstock, NY, Gabriel began playing cello at the age of 5. He studied cello performance at The Music Conservatory at Brooklyn College, and jazz and political theory with the late great Fred Ho. Gabriel has toured internationally with Simone Felice, and has played on albums by Simone Felice, Karl Berger, Photay, and the Eco Music Big Band.
ADDITIONAL NATIONALSAWDUST+ EVENTS THIS SEASON