Inspired by the echoes of Hurricane Katrina and the economic meltdown of 2008, award-winning New York composer Eve Beglarian decided to improvise her own unofficial WPA project, charting a four-month trip down the Mississippi River by kayak and bicycle in 2009.
In the years following the trip, Eve has developed a repertoire of original compositions, adventurous arrangements of traditional songs, and spoken, photographic, and video portraits of people and places along the river.
Now she is embarking on a journey up the river, to bring the music, stories, and visuals back to the people and places that inspired their creation. Eve has put together a band of virtuoso local performers who will join her on the first leg of a tour up both sides of the Mississippi, by car this time(!), from the Gulf up as far as Vicksburg.
The lineup for this Lower Mississippi incarnation of BRIM: the River Project is New Orleans violinist Tarrah Reynolds, two musicians from Natchitoches: David Steele on clarinet, and Matt Petty on trombone, alongside Eve on vocals, keyboards, and electronics. You can learn more about the artists here.
Each evening’s repertoire of stories, music, and images will be customized for the locations and communities where we are performing. The overall experience for an audience is not unlike a journey on the Mississippi River (and perhaps throughout America) itself: both familiar and strange — friendly, full of warmth and playfulness, but with complexity and darkness threaded just beneath.
Some pieces begin from audio and video recordings made along the river, others are inspired by music and stories Eve heard along the way from the people she met. Eclectic and openhearted, the show traces the spine of the United States to reveal the ties that bind us together.