Notes from the Riverkeepers new music by artist Holcombe Waller makes its world premiere with a regional tour (Sept. 22-Oct. 4, 2017). The musical homily provides a history of crude-oil-by-rail transportation in the Columbia River Gorge; culminating with the nearly catastrophic Union Pacific oil train derailment, spill, and fire in Mosier, Oregon in June of 2016.
“Performance-based work around local environmental issues focusing on the risks of crude-oil-by-rail transport tells the story with names and faces and objects and dates through music and spoken word in a way that the mainstream handling of the topic fails to do,” said artist Holcombe Waller.
“I’ve never seen the work we do with our many allies and partners portrayed so musically—with humor, history, and advocacy. Holcombe’s voice and vision are amazing,” said Dan Serres, Conservation Director, Columbia Riverkeeper.
Notes was written in response to Waller’s three-month artist residency with Columbia Riverkeeper, an environmental nonprofit working on issues facing the Columbia River. The residency was organized and supported by Signal Fire, a local non-profit dedicated to connecting artists with wild space and environmental activists, and the tour is supported by community partners including Columbia Riverkeeper and other members of the Stand Up To Oil coalition.
Notes features through-composed and extemporaneous storytelling, song, sermon and ceremony, incorporating Waller’s original folk, blues and soul inspired music, focusing on the issues facing Columbia Riverkeeper as stewards of the Columbia River–particularly the risks of crude oil-by-rail transport along both sides of the river. Musicians accompanying Waller: Dana J on drums, Justin Miller on bass and Joshua Thomas on keyboards and guitars.
Notes from the Riverkeepers Tour:
Following each performance, Stand Up to Oil coalition partners will lead a conversation around oil-by-rail and what you can do to get involved.
- 9/22 & 9/23–Portland, OR–Headwaters Theater (55 NE Farragut St. #9, Portland, OR) Doors at 7:30 pm, show at 8:00 pm; audience Q&A 9:15 pm.
Post-Performance Conversation with Journalist Barbara Bernstein of KBOO Radio, Regna Merritt and Damon Motz-Storey of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Dan Serres and Rob Cochran of Columbia Riverkeeper.
- 9/24–Astoria, OR–Columbian Theater (102 Marine Drive, Astoria, OR)
Doors at 6:30 pm, show at 7:00 pm; audience Q&A at 8:15 pm.
Post-Performance Conversation with Carol Newman of KMUN Radio, Columbia River Estuary Action Team (CREATe), and Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky of Columbia Riverkeeper.
- 9/25–Seattle, WA–Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre, University of Washington (Located on campus near the north entrance at NE 45th St. and 17th Ave. NE. The closest parking lot is N-5, with overflow parking nearby. Campus Map for Penthouse Theater)
Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8:00 pm; audience Q&A 9:15 pm.
Post-Performance Conversation with Rebecca Ponzio of Stand Up to Oil and Washington Environmental Council, Chris Wilke of Puget Soundkeeper, and Brett VandenHeuvel of Columbia Riverkeeper.
- 9/30–Bainbridge Island, WA–Seabold Hall, Bainbridge Island (14450 Komedal Road, Bainbridge Island, WA)
Doors 4:30 pm, show at 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm Q&A and potluck dinner with Holcombe Waller at Lone Pine Farm & Studio.
Post-Performance Conversation with Sarah Margolis-Pineo of Lone Pine Farm & Studio; Kristin Tollefson with Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, and Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky of Columbia Riverkeeper.
Tickets (donation, reservation recommended)
- 10/3–Mosier, OR–Mosier Community School (1204 Historic Columbia River Highway, Mosier, OR)
Doors at 6:30 pm, show at 7:00 pm; audience Q&A 8:15 pm.
Post-Performance Conversation with Journalist Michelle Nijhuis, writer for National Geographic Magazine; Mosier Mayor Arlene Burns, Kevin Gorman of Friends of the Columbia Gorge, and Miles Johnson of Columbia Riverkeeper.
- 10/4–Hood River, OR–Columbia Center For The Arts (215 Cascade Street, Hood River, OR)
Doors at 6:30pm, show at 7:00 pm; audience Q&A 8:15 pm.
Post-Performance Conversation with Host/Producer Sarah Fox of Hear in the Gorge podcast, and Brett VandenHeuvel of Columbia Riverkeeper.
About Holcombe Waller (Writer, performer): Holcombe Waller is a unique voice in music theater. He is a 2012 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 shFestival, and many others. Wallers 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, which will make it’s San Francisco premiere at Grace Cathedral in 2018 as a part of the YBCA Transform Festival.