The Lakota Music Project as a musical bridge for cultural understanding
This interview is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.
South Dakota Symphony Orchestra's renowned Lakota Music Project has become a blueprint for orchestras and how they can partner with communities. Since the performances have typically been in school gymnasiums or at monuments such as Crazy Horse, the music has not been professionally recorded. Until now.
This weekend "Victory Songs" comes to the stage at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls. First time symphony-goers can secure free admission by calling ahead as part of the Crescendo program. The program is scheduled to be recorded.
Maestro Delta David Gier says grant funding fuels the project on tour. He says the work the artists are doing is essential to understanding how cultures can connect personally and cross-pollinate artistically.
"One of the pieces I would love to commission is is a big work about Black Elk," Gier says. "And not just to do it about Black Elk, but to address the very things that we're trying to address in South Dakota now, which is education about the the history of South Dakota from the Native side. Not negating either side of the equation, but using a figure like Black Elk to teach and demonstrate through the music, through perhaps visuals and dancing and storytelling as well. Black Elk was a bridge in and of himself."
We took four years to build this thing together with our Native Partners.