Hundreds of musicians come together for free performance on Lake Pontchartrain
On April 8, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, in collaboration with New Orleans Airlift, will present a free public performance on Lake Pontchartrain that will debut composer Yotam Haber’s “New Water Music”.
The hour-long work will be performed from the water by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and hundreds of community musicians in a choreographed visual presentation, conceived and executed by New Orleans Airlift.
As the sun begins its descent on April 8, the musicians will take position on water-bound staging for a grand event against the endless backdrop of Lake Pontchartrain. Conducting with naval semaphore flags and in occasional Morse Code, Yotam Haber’s score will flow across the water, paying tribute to traditional Louisiana music including Cajun accordion and African-American spirituals. In the regatta beyond, a procession of fishing boats and vessels will unfold under the artistic direction of Airlift’s Delaney Martin.
The performance will take place on Saturday, April 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Seabrook Boat Launch on Lake Pontchartrain, located at the eastern termination of Lakeshore Drive. Sunday, April 9 is the scheduled rain date.
The afternoon will offer land-based activities including food, information, and displays alongside the sunset performance. Admission to this one-time event is free.
New Orleans Airlift is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and accepts donations and in-kind support for large-scale art projects. To find out how to donate, click here.
For more infromation, see the full press release below:
This free, public performance on Lake Pontchartrain will debut composer Yotam Haber’s “New Water Music.” It will be performed from the water by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and hundreds of community musicians in a spectacular choreographed visual presentation, conceived and executed by New Orleans Airlift.
As the sun begins its descent on April 8, the musicians will take position on water-bound staging for a grand event against the endless backdrop of Lake Pontchartrain. Conducting with naval semaphore flags and in occasional Morse Code, Haber’s score will flow across the water, paying tribute to traditional Louisiana music including Cajun accordion and African-American spirituals. In the regatta beyond, a procession of fishing boats and vessels will unfold under the artistic direction of Airlift’s Delaney Martin.
“New Water Music” takes inspiration from Handel’s “Water Music,” famously performed on the River Thames for King George I in 1717, but also for the wider city who watched from shore and from boats – public concerts did not enter the musical tradition until the late 18th century.
“New Water Music” pays homage by connecting exceptional music to diverse public audiences, but also uses this performance to illuminate Louisiana’s coastal crisis o f receding wetlands and changing lifestyles for fisherman and coastal residents, with repercussions for New Orleans residents and beyond. According to Bob Marshall of Scientific American, “Louisiana loses 16 square miles of land a year, the fastest rate of land loss in the world.” This project explores critical issues of water and land use in the Gulf region as well as the growing crisis of coastal erosion. “New Water Music” strives to inspire participation and leadership in residents whose voices are essential to catalyzing change.
Participants include fisherman, seafood distributors, a range of coastal advocacy organizations and local fish fry organizers who depend on the coastal catch. A prelude to the concert will feed stomachs and minds with land-based offerings of food, talks and displays – including information on the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Master Plan for 2017.
Partners for this project include a broad range of vocal advocates from the coastal parishes and New Orleans, as well as organizations including the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, The Gulf Restoration Network, National Wildlife Federation, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority and Waggoner and Ball Architects.
There is still time to become a participant in New Water Music.
Volunteer community musicians of all types and genres should direct inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional fisherman, coastal advocates, South Shore Lake Pontchartrain residents and community groups, food vendors and other interested parties should direct inquiries to:
Yotam Haber, currently based in New Orleans, is a 2005 Guggenheim fellow and a 2007 Rome Prize winner in Music Composition. One of the most exciting contemporary composers working today, his music has been performed in the US and internationally, including Carnegie Hall, the Venice Biennale, the Holland Festival, RomaEuropa, and the Venice Biennale.
New Orleans Airlift is an arts collective founded in 2008 whose mission is to inspire wonder, connect communities, and foster opportunities through arts education and the creation of experimental public artworks. Known for radically collaborative projects like The Music Box, Airlift highlights our city’s underground art and under-the-radar artists, along with the dynamic street culture and living folk culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. New Water Music is under the Artistic Direction of Delaney Martin in collaboration with her Airlift cohorts plus dozens of artists, fisherman, activists, and more.
The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) is dedicated to maintaining live orchestral music and a full-scale symphonic orchestra as an integral part of the cultural and educational life of the New Orleans area, the entire state of Louisiana, and the Gulf South region. Formed in 1991, the LPO is the oldest full-time musician-governed and collaboratively-operated orchestra in the United States. The LPO offers a full 36-week season with more than 120 performances, including classics, light classics, pops, education, family, park and community engagement concerts in New Orleans and across multi-parish areas. In addition, The LPO collaborates with and provides orchestral support for other cultural and performing arts organizations, including New Orleans Opera Association, New Orleans Vocal Arts Chorale, New Orleans Ballet Association, and Delta Festival Ballet.
This project is funded with generous support from MAP Fund, the Eugenie and Joseph Jones Foundation, the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, Waggoner and Ball Architects, the Edward T. Cone Foundation, and the Adele & John Gray Endowment Fund.
Additional sponsorship is being provided by DCL Mooring, Coastal Marine, and Water Safety Personnel + Safety Boats.
More information: www.neworleansairlift.org