The ecocentric musical “Notes from the Riverkeepers” will come to Bainbridge Island as part of its debut tour Saturday, Sept. 30.
The musical homily provides a history of crude-oil-by-rail transportation in the Columbia River Gorge, culminating with a review of the nearly catastrophic Union Pacific oil train derailment, spill and fire in Mosier, Oregon in June 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 writer/vocalist Holcombe Waller.
“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 nonprofit 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.
“I’ve never seen the work we do with our many allies and partners portrayed so musically—with humor, history, and advocacy,” said Dan Serres, Conservation Director, Columbia Riverkeeper. “Holcombe’s voice and vision are amazing,”
The show features composed and extemporaneous storytelling via 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 include Dana J on drums, Justin Miller on bass, and Joshua Thomas on keyboards and guitars.
The Bainbridge-based performance, a special one-night-only affair, will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 at Seabold Hall (14450 Komedal Road).
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and a 7 p.m. Q&A and potluck dinner with Waller himself will follow, at Lone Pine Farm & Studio.
There will also be a post performance conversation with Sarah Margolis-Pineo of Lone Pine Farm & Studio, Kristin Tollefson of the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, and Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky of Columbia Riverkeeper.
Tickets are available now, for a variable donation. Visit www.artful.ly/store/events/13087 to learn more.