Encore Performance Oct 17

The premiere on September 26 exceeded my expectations! Come see an encore 2pm Saturday, October 17 at the Duwamish Longhouse.

Listen to Seattle script

One hundred and seventy five years ago on a Pacific Northwest beach, a man sings. A chant in a somber minor key – repeating, descending. His tone is low and gravelly, but the sound carries far across the dark expanse of salt water, through the air blanketed in clouds of grey and charcoal.
The sacred song was bestowed by nature, to evoke a spirit power. The melody harmonizes with the hissing breeze in the trees, the slurping wavelets on the shore, the raven’s rasp, barking seal, and splashing salmon, the crunch of shells underfoot.
Bushes laden with berries and rivers flowing with fish nourish the singing man. Cedar trees approach to offer their trunks for transport across the water and their bark for garments against the rain. Raven and coyote share ancient stories of how the earth came to be.
On the same day 175 years ago, at the sultry mouth of the Mississippi River, a man sits astride his bamboula, sweating over the drum he is permitted to play only on Sundays in Congo Square. Hundreds of African slaves drum, dance, and sing in this New Orleans park, away from the severe restrictions of the British and French cultures left over from colonization. The music and motion weaves a resilient fabric, recalling African village life where rhythms told stories and dancing restored health. Their music is a haven of freedom within the country enslaving them. This taproot of black music, jazz, drinks from the confluence of cultures coming to the shores of the new world.
Today, I would like to bring these two streams of ancient music together. Like the Duwamish tribe, I yearn for a connection to the natural world. Like the descendants of African slaves, I find in jazz freedom, equity, and emotional expression. The sounds I choose to create today are flavored by the fruit of all our family trees.

[PLAY ENCHANTMENT]


Premiere of Listen to Seatle 2pm September 26

Listen to Seattle will premier on September 26 at the Duwamish Longhouse. Coincidentally on this date in 1851, Lee Terry and David Denny first arrived at Alki point. Listen to Seattle will honor the city's namesake and the tribal struggle to coexist with whites.

Captain Phelps of the Decatur describes Seattle in 1856

"Few places are more advantageously situated for a business emporium than Seattle--located on an amphitheatre of gently sloping hills, with clear, pure, cold water to be found everywhere a few feet below the surface; and surrounded by a country with the finest ship and spar timber to be found in the whole world; with the land possessing a soil capable of producing in the greatest profusion and unsurpassed in quantity and quality--all kinds of cerials [sic], vegetables, fruits and berries usually found North of the 38th parallel of North latitude; and possessing a climate teeming with health, and so salubrious, as to render it at all times an antidote to despondency; where the nights are always cool, insuring refreshing slumber and a renewed, invigorated system on awakening--physically prepared for all the emergencies of life; and, during the Spring, Summer and Autumn months, presenting weather unexcelled [sic] in any quarter of the globe.
"The waters of the Sound are filled with excellent salmon in their season succeeded by cod and many other varieties of fish, while the forest abound in game."

Prologue

One hundred and seventy five years ago on a Pacific Northwest beach, a man sings. A chant in a somber minor key – repeating, descending. The tone is low and gravelly but the sound carries far across the dark expanse of water covered in clouds of grey and charcoal.

The sacred song was bestowed by nature, to evoke a spirit power. The melody harmonizes with the hissing breeze in the trees, the slurping ripples on the shore, the raven’s rasp and laughing gull, the seal’s bark and splashing salmon, the crunch of shells underfoot.

Bushes laden with berries and rivers thick with fish nourish the songman. Cedar trees approach to offer their trunks for transport across the water and their bark for garments against the rain. Raven and coyote share secret stories of how the earth came to be. Soon, white settlers will invade with disease and denegration.

On the same day, at the sultry mouth of the Mississippi River, a man sits astride his bamboula, sweating over the drum he is permitted to play only on Sundays in Congo Square. Hundreds of African slaves drum, dance, and sing in this New Orleans park, away from the severe restrictions of the British culture left over from colonization. The music and motion weaves a resilient fabric recalling African village life where rhythms told stories and movement restored health. Their music is a haven of freedom within the country enslaving them. This taproot of black music drinks from the confluence of cultures coming to the shores of the new world.

Today, I bring these two streams of ancient music together. I am not a member of a native tribe but I yearn for a connection to the natural world. I am not descended from African slaves but I cherish freedom, equity, and emotional expression. My blood traces back to Germany through my mother and Scotland through my father. I learned music through public schools, peers, mentors, radios, and records that I could find in America’s heartland. The sound I chose to create today is flavored by the fruit of family trees both near to and distant from my own.

Rosemary Sweeney shares American Indian Law Review article

Attorney Rosemary Sweeney shared her 2001 article in the American Indian Law Review titled: FEDERAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF INDIAN TRIBES: CURRENT BIA INTERPRETATIONS OF THE FEDERAL CRITERIA FOR ACKNOWLEDGMENT WITH RESPECT TO SEVERAL NORTHWEST TRIBES.

Rosemary is the wife of bassist Phil Sparks, who will be performing in Listen to Seattle.

4Culture Historic Site Specific Program recommends funding Listen to Seattle

The review committee for the 4Culture Historic Site Specific Program has recommended funding for Listen to Seattle. The recommendation will be part of the 4Culture budget to be approved in January.