So there’s the story… and then there’s the story within the story.
I first encountered the epic story of Quindaro while conducting research for Redlined a companion comic book for Community Health Council of Wyandotte County’s HEAT report. My collaborator and I had run into some dead ends and providence led me to the Old Quindaro Museum. While the visit didn’t specifically wind up informing the comic, it did change my life.
I had no idea that Quindaro was so rich with deep American History. I didn’t know that Wyandot and Abolitionists formed the township and boldly ushered slaves to freedom. The town echoed with inspiration for our troubled times.
With the PolyArtery Collective (Justin Border, Meghan Cochrane Rowswell and Jillian Youngbird) we have created an immersive installation to awaken interest in the incredible history to a new generation.
The piece that I created is more of a sonic, epic poem than music. Woven within the piece are sounds that I collected, created, recorded and manipulated. The river, feet walking through grass, birds, wind, hammers, saws, chains, voices. Some elements pure… some highly distorted, like the history of this place. How can we dampen the distortion to get to the truth?
Listen carefully. What do you feel?
Close your eyes. Imagine the journey of two displaced peoples and what they did to build a community.
Weaving the River
A Collage Auditif in 4 Parts
⭐In the Beginning (intro)
⭐The Land Was (almost) Always There
⭐Where We Met/Warp and Weft
⭐Our Future is In Our Past
Special Guests: Allen Chapel Choir
Choir: Helen Collins, Deitra Hanson, Brandon Jackson, Kerry Tyson
Soloist: Micah Davis
Wade in the Water, Traditional
Hold On, Traditional
Produced, recorded, additional vocals by Jen Appell
Mixed and Mastered by Brodie Rush
Rev. Stacy Evans, Allen Chapel AME Chapel, Mr. Luther Smith & Mr. America Patton, Vernon Multi Use Center Underground Railroad Museum, Anthony Hope, Old Quindaro Museum
Jan English, Holly Zane, Wyandot Nation. Liz Hobson. Jerry Jones and Donna Young, Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. Anne Lacey, Kansas City Kansas Public Library.
Massive Gratitude to Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (Julie McPike, Kelly Burns and the whole team!). Arts KC. Fractured Atlas.