A new hour-long work for hundreds of musicians, fusing new and traditional music, procession, water culture, and pageantry while galvanizing listeners to save Louisiana’s coast.
Date: April 8th, 2017 (Rain date April 9th)
Location: Seabrook Boat Launch on Lake Pontchartrain
Located at the eastern termination of Lakeshore Drive
Large Parking lot adjacent with additional parking on Lakeshore Drive
Time: 4 - 7pm with afternoon land-based activities including food, information and displays / Sunset Performance
This free, public performance on Lake Pontchartrain will debut composer Yotam Haber’s New Water Music. It will be performed from the water by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and hundreds of community musicians in a spectacular choreographed visual presentation, conceived and executed by New Orleans Airlift.
As the sun begins its descent on April 8th, the musicians will take position on water-bound staging for a grand event against the endless backdrop of Lake Pontchartrain. Conducting with naval semaphore flags and in occasional Morse Code, Haber’s score will flow across the water, paying tribute to traditional Louisiana music including Cajun accordion and African-American spirituals. In the regatta beyond, a procession of fishing boats and vessels will unfold under the artistic direction of Airlift’s Delaney Martin.
New Water Music takes inspiration from Handel’s Water Music, famously performed on the River Thames for King George I in 1717, but also for the wider city who watched from shore and from boats - public concerts did not enter the musical tradition until the late 18th century.
New Water Music pays homage by connecting exceptional music to diverse public audiences, but also uses this performance to illuminate Louisiana’s coastal crisis of receding wetlands and changing lifestyles for fisherman and coastal residents, with repercussions for New Orleans residents and beyond. Louisiana loses 16 square miles of land a year, the fastest rate of land loss in the world. This project explores critical issues of water and land use in the Gulf region as well as the growing crisis of coastal erosion. New Water Music strives to inspire participation and leadership in residents whose voices are essential to catalyzing change.
Participants include fisherman, seafood distributors, a range of coastal advocacy organizations, and local fish fry organizers who depend on the coastal catch. A prelude to the concert will feed stomachs and minds with land-based offerings of food, talks, and displays - including information on the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Master Plan for 2017. This plan that must be ratified by politicians to take effect so it is vital to create a swell of support for this and other important coastal initiatives.
Partners for this project include a broad range of vocal advocates from the coastal parishes and New Orleans as well as organizations including the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, The Gulf Restoration Network, National Wildlife Federation, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, and Waggoner and Ball Architects.
This project is funded with generous support from MAP Fund, the Eugenie and Joseph Jones Foundation, the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, Waggoner and Ball Architects, the Edward T. Cone Foundation, and the Adele & John Gray Endowment Fund.
Additional sponsorship is being provided by DCL Mooring, Coastal Marine, and Water Safety Personnel + Safety Boats.