"The Story of Music, Stories from Home," Performance by Gary Holthaus and Lauren Pelon
"The Story of Music, Stories from Home" is a unique new work, created by musician, Lauren Pelon, & agricultural writer, Gary Holthaus, which combines music, stories and poems to explore our sense of place, home and community.
The Story of Music, Stories from Home is a unique new work, created by Lauren Pelon & Gary Holthaus, which combines music, stories and poems to explore our sense of place, home and community. The program incorporates stories, music, and musical instruments deeply rooted in the cultural traditions of the Midwest. This program is co-sponsored by University Museums and AgArts with funding support from Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, and the Alvin Edgar Fund for the Performing Arts, a part of the Iowa State University Foundation.
Gary Holthaus is one the top agricultural writers in the U.S. His books include: From the Farm to the Table: What All Americans Need to Know about Agriculture; Learning Native Wisdom: What Traditional Cultures Teach Us About Subsistence, Sustainability, and Spirituality; The Wide Skies: Finding a Home in the West; The Great Land: Reflections on Alaska.
Gary Holthaus received an Individual Fellowship for Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990. He has been a commercial fisherman in Alaska, a big-game guide in Montana, a wheat packer for Quaker Oats, a schoolteacher and worked "too long," he says, moving steel beams around for Iowa Steel and Iron Works.
Holthaus's book (From the Farm to the Table) tells the story of modern agriculture through engaging interviews with men and women who make a living farming in southeastern Minnesota. In a tone reminiscent of Wendell Berry's A Place on Earth, he examines the far-reaching effects of genetically modified organisms, free-trade agreements that nurture 'transnational corporate profit,' dependence on fossil fuel-derived chemicals, and the toll all this has taken on the land and farmers... Recommended for academic agriculture collections.-- Library Journal" -- Library Journal
Under the title, "The Living Roots of Music," Lauren Pelon performs music from the 1st to the 21st centuries on archlute, guitar, lute-guitar, lyre, recorders, gemshorns, cornamuse, krummhorn, schreierpfeife, shawm, rackett, pennywhistles, psalmodikon, concertina, ocarina, hurdy-gurdy, doucaine, bowed and plucked psalteries, Kiowa courting flute, eagle bone flute, synthesizers, electric wind instrument, and MIDI-pedalboard. She also traces the story of music and tells stories about the development of instruments throughout history.
Pelon is a vocalist as well. Her original songs and her haunting renditions of ballads collected by Francis Child in the late 19th century have been especially appealing to audiences. A recent reviewer wrote, "Lauren Pelon is a showpiece by virtue of her beautiful, fervent voice and her extraordinary talents on an assortment of unusual, but authentic instruments."
Ms. Pelon, recipient of the 2001 "Artist of the Year" Award from Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) and 2010 Artist Initiative Award from the Minnesota State Arts Board, has studied the history of music and instrumentation both in America and overseas. She has performed in concerts throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and China. Recent tours took her to Australia, to perform at Australian National University, Canberra, ACT; to the Russian Institute for the History of the Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia; and to the Conservatory of Music in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Pelon has also performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras, on television specials and with Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion."