Holcombe Waller: Notes from the Riverkeepers
Monday, September 25th 2017 at 8 pm
Penthouse Theater, University of Washington
Holcombe Waller’s “Notes from the Riverkeepers,” is a music-driven performance broadly exploring the 2016 Mosier train derailment. The show is a musical response to Waller’s 2016 artist residency with the Columbia Riverkeeper, a non-profit environmental organization chartered with stewarding all aspects of environmental health of the Columbia River. The three-month residency was organized and funded by Signal Fire, a local non-profit dedicated to embedding artists in wild spaces and activist spaces to connect artistic culture more deeply with environmentalism and activist culture.
“Notes” features extemporaneous and through-composed storytelling and song, rooted in Waller’s folk, blues and soul-inspired music, focusing on one of the main issues Columbia Riverkeeper faces in their role as stewards of the Columbia River — the risks of crude oil-by-rail (“CBR”) transportation along both sides of the river. The lyrics incorporate the history of the federal railroad system, the nationwide corporate railroad duopoly represented by the northern and southern side Columbia River rail lines, and the phenomenon of train derailments/explosions/emergency response, focusing particularly on the oil train derailment and fire in Mosier, Oregon in June of 2016.
Featuring Dana J on drums, Justin Miller on bass and Joshua Thomas on keyboards and guitars.
This performance, presented by the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, will take place in the University of Washington’s historic Penthouse Theater, the first theater in the round built in the United States.
About Holcombe Waller (Writer, performer): Holcombe Waller is a unique voice in music theater. He is a 20112 United States Artists Berresford Fellow in Music, an award which noted his mournful, folk-inflected style as well as his approach to music “as total theater.”He is a Creative Capital artist, a three-time recipient of the MAP Fund, and a Joan Shipley Fellow of the Regional Arts and Culture Council of his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Waller has been presented and commissioned by Under the Radar Festival at The New York Public Theater, On the Boards, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Centre Pompidou, the Fusebox Festival, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, and many others. Waller’s collaboration with choreography includes work with Joe Goode Performance Group (SF), Zoe|Juniper (Seattle), and Miguel Gutierrez, and his film score work includes music for the Sundance-premiered documentary, “We Were Here.” He has recently toured two interdisciplinary music theater works, Wayfinders and Surfacing, as well as premiered and toured the community-choir-based collaborative project, Requiem Mass: LGBT / Working Title.
About Signal Fire: Signal Fire facilitates wildlands residencies and retreats for artists of all disciplines. Our projects instill self-reliance, catalyze creative energy, and invite interdisciplinary collaboration. We utilize public lands to advocate for access to and protection of our wild places. In the past seven years we have engaged over 250 artists, including our month-long, college-level experiential education program. We have hosted numerous regional exhibits and publish an annual literary journal, Leaf Litter. signalfirearts.org
About Columbia Riverkeeper: Columbia Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the water quality of the Columbia River and all life connected to it, from the headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. Representing over 12,000 members and supporters, Columbia Riverkeeper works to restore a Columbia River where people can safely eat the fish they catch, and where children can swim without fear of toxic exposure. The organization is a member of Waterkeeper Alliance, the world’s fastest growing environmental movement, uniting more than 300 Waterkeeper organizations worldwide. columbiariverkeeper.org
FUNDING AND SUPPORT: Notes from the Riverkeepers is funded by a grant from the Map Fund, as well as a project grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council. The project was inspired and supported by funding and residency organized by Signal Fire. The work benefitted from additional community partner support from Columbia Riverkeeper, Headwaters Theater and the Falcon Art Community.