HAA’S FOLKLIFE + TRADITIONAL ARTS AND HOUSTON GRAND OPERA PRESENT STORM SONGS & STORIES
April 1, 2016
HOUSTON (April 1, 2016) – Houston and Galveston, like any city along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the U.S., are always vulnerable to tropical weather. The most frightening of these events is the hurricane, with its fierce winds and massive storm surges that can spell devastation for anything in its path. Hurricanes such as Katrina, Rita and Ike in this region —and even earlier, the Great Storm of Galveston in 1900—are all too familiar in this part of the U.S.
STORM SONGS & STORIES was inspired by the voices of the multitudes of storm survivors. In anticipation of Houston Grand Opera’s May 2016 world premiere of After the Storm, Houston Grand Opera (HGO) and the Houston Arts Alliance Folklife + Traditional Arts program will present the multimedia.
STORM SONGS & STORIES, on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, at 8 p.m. at Rudyard’s, 2010 Waugh Drive.
The program’s open mic format will feature first timers and seasoned vets sharing their stories, spoken word pieces, songs and poems on the subject of these storms. The general public is invited to participate as audience and/or performer. The format is solo performances only with a five-minute time limit, based on first come, first served. There is no cover charge.
STORM SONGS & STORIES is an outgrowth of two major projects—a 2005 storytelling project, titled Surviving Katrina and Rita in Houston, and Houston Grand Opera’s After the Storm.
The storytelling project, led by University of Houston Professor Carl Lindahl and public folklorist and current HAA Folklife + Traditional Arts Director Pat Jasper, entailed Houston-based hurricane survivors interviewing more than 400 fellow survivors. Most of the resulting narratives now reside in the collections of the Library of Congress.
The chamber opera, a story of loss, resilience and the power of community, was developed through research and interviews with Galveston and Houston residents, mining the legacy of Galveston’s Great Storm of 1900 and 2008’s Hurricane Ike.
In this light, HAA’s Folklife program and HGOco came together to create an opportunity for the larger public to participate and share their own hurricane stories in the medium of their choosing. The public is invited to share hurricane stories like this one, written by a Houstonian:
A Good Dog
He’s not effusive or clingy or
Even much into being in the same room with me.
But the lights went out at 1:17 a.m., with
Winds howling and rain lashing and bangs
On the roof brought on by Lord knows what.
And for hours, as the storm blew water
Sideways under door jambs and through
Cracks in the ceiling. He stayed
Steadfastly by my side.
He followed me from room to room
As I – flashlight in hand—
Timorously waited out the hurricane.
Few things in life are truer or of
Greater comfort than a good dog in a
Karen Ross, 2008
Courtesy of Houston. It's Worth It.
For more information, visit houstonartsalliance.com/folklife/current.
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