By: Special to The Laredo Sun
Holthaus reads from his work and that of others. Both the music and the readings offer unique perceptions of the natural world, and celebrate our sense of place, community, and home.
“The Story of Music, Stories from Home” will take place at 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at Laredo Public Library Multi-purpose Room, 1120 East Calton Road.
The program is funded by Laredo Public Library, Picaresque II, and Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is free and open to the public.
Lauren Pelon has performed throughout the U.S. and in China, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Australia, and New Zealand. She is noted for her versatile use of such a diverse array of instruments, but Pelon has also won recognition for her lovely soprano voice, and for her compelling compositions and arrangements of music from many countries and cultures.
Lauren has performed with symphony orchestras, The Philadelphia String Quartet, on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and at the Russian Institute for the History of the Arts in St.
Petersburg, Russia. She was the recipient of the 2001 “Artist of the Year” award from the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council, and 2010 Artist Initiative Award from the Minnesota State Arts Board.
As a concert goer remarked, “Her concerns for the sense of community and her understanding of ‘home’ just shine through the beauty of her music.”
J. Edward Chamberlin of the University of Toronto wrote of Lauren’s music, “She is such a gifted performer, across such a wide range of musical instruments and vocal styles, and she draws on such an exceptionally rich array of traditions, that it is hard to do full justice to the achievement of her program…she achieves something remarkable, a bringing together of musical and cultural expression from Asian, African, European and Aboriginal traditions.” Guan Jianhua, of the China Conservatory of Music, Beijing, said, “It’s wonderful music that transcends time and culture and includes entertainment, education, inspiration, and philosophical meaning.
I think Lauren’s music is very important for the future of music and culture in many countries.”
Holthaus has three books of poems, three chapbooks, and three collections of essays, all of them rooted in the earth. His most recent book is titled, Learning Native Wisdom: What Traditional Cultures Teach Us about Subsistence, Sustainability, and Spirituality. It was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2008.
His prose has been cited in “Notable Essays” in 1994 and 1998. Holthaus’s poems have been published in the U.S., Egypt, and Iraq (in Arabic) and he was a 1990 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship for Poetry.
He has commercial fished in Bristol Bay, Alaska, was the first Director of Bilingual Education for the State of Alaska, and recently worked with Minnesota’s Experiment in Rural Cooperation to write From the Farm to the Table, a book on agriculture in America.
He has worked for Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, and with Sitka, Alaska’s, Island Institute on issues of sustainability.
Gary Snyder said of Holthaus’ book, Unexpected Manna, “Holthaus’ sometimes elegiac tone – he’s a Stoic (I saw him pack Marcus Aurelius to take to the Eskimo village of Alegnagik) with an elegant sense of those two worlds being lost to us now.
I mean the world of wild nature and its peoples along with the real excellences of civilizations past; they both go down in the fossil-fuel burn-out… In the drum and dance of the present he opens it both ways to the real: secular dryness and the shaman’s sacrament.
But no promises. The clear cold of reality. And the early morning challenge of getting to work on it.”
Holthaus told us, “Lauren and I love stories -- hearing them, and telling them. Our hope is that if we share some of our stories about music and home, maybe you’ll think of your own stories and perhaps share some of yours with us, and we’ll all learn something from the evening.”
Pam Burrell, Director of Adult Services for Laredo Public Library said, “We are so pleased that we are able to present this remarkable humanities program in our community.
Lauren and Gary combine such unique talents, and this program will remind us of the importance of music and stories in creating community and celebrating home.
‘The Story of Music, Stories from Home’ is sure to be entertaining, thought-provoking, and illuminating.”
For further information contact Pam Burrell at the Laredo Public Library at 795-2400, x2268.