Power of connecting
It is great being on the road with the Iditarod. I am reminded at each event how interesting, varied and connected arts people are and that they are the backbone of communities – large and small. While at the Belfast Iditarod held at Waterfall Arts it was great to see old friends and colleagues including founders of the arts center, Alan and Lorna Crichton and director of programming Martha Piscuskas. I also had a chance to meet new people like composer, performer, and media artist Tom Luther.
Tom approached me and said that he has been following this blog for quite some time. He teaches at Midcoast Music Academy in Rockland. A center that I’ve been hearing about but haven’t had the chance to visit yet. They are doing amazing work providing learning opportunities for young people in the mid-coast. Tom promised to connect me with the founders Tom Ulichny and Anne Bardaglio. Interestingly enough he did let them know we met and on Friday night, two days after we were in Belfast, I attended the Pecha Kucha in Rockport and there was Tom presenting. He shared the story of the academy and afterwards I met him in person.
Anyway, it turns out that Tom Luther lives not 4 miles up the road from me and he was inspired by the blog post 1,000 Musicians Perform, January 8. I asked him to relay his story so I could let others know what he did after reading the post. You’ll get to meet Tom yourself if you attend the March 17 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Mega-regional conference at Hebron Station School since Tom will be there.
In Tom’s own words…
A few weeks back, Argy Nestor posted a really cool video on her Maine Education blog. It showed 1000 musicians in Italy performing David Bowie’s “Rebel, Rebel”. I was struck by both the magnitude of this event, and the timeliness of the posting. I don’t know if when the video was actually done, but I had been thinking about Bowie recently, as just about a year has passed since his death. As I listened, the idea hit me to fool around with the tune, and see what I could do with it. I wound with a much softer, slower version that is really a vehicle for improvisation, and has a flexible form that can change with each performance. Aside from toying with the notion of a trio arrangement, I really had no plan for it (“bottom drawer music” we call it), until I decided to play it at a church gig that I do regularly. Unbeknownst to me, the Pastor’s sermon that week was about spiritual revolution, so it was a perfect fit. I told Argy about the whole thing when I saw her at the Maine Arts Iditarod, and she reminded me that the true power of art is in connections like these. So thanks David, and thanks Argy!
You can check out Tom’s version he calls Lazarus Dreaming at his soundcloud post at
https://soundcloud.com/tom-luther-music/lazarus-dreaming. Learn more about Tom Luther at his site: tomlutherpiano.com.
And, if you’ve been inspired by blog posts please do share your stories so others can learn from you!