(Photo above: OneBeat at Caldera Arts Center | by Hannah Devereux)
Caldera will welcome cultural ambassadors OneBeat to Central Oregon this fall. OneBeat is a public-private cultural diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation. The OneBeat fellows this year are 25 young and adventurous musicians from 17 countries who are coming together to explore how the arts can renew and restore perspectives, spaces, and societies.
OneBeat kicks off their month-long US tour with an in-depth two and a half week residency at Caldera Arts Center. Caldera’s artist residencies allow musicians and other artists time and space away from their usual environment and obligations to reflect, research, test, and create while living and immersing themselves in our land and facilities on Blue Lake near Sisters.
OneBeat fellows will be creating musical events for specific spaces, sites and communities that go beyond the typical concert tour. Its work will embody the spirit of creative collaboration and of music as social practice.
During their residency at Caldera, OneBeat will perform for the local community on Saturday, September 30 at The Belfry in Sisters ($10 adults, $5 students) and on Friday, October 6 at The Suttle Lodge in Sisters (free admission). Both performances will be begin at 7pm and are open to the public.
“It’s a unique experience for Caldera youth to partner with these talented musicians from all over the globe. In addition to the creative and musical collaboration, we hope that the students and the community come away with a greater understanding of how music can help us engage civically and build healthy communities, prosperous societies and a more peaceful world,” said Caldera Executive Director Brian Detman.
This year’s fellows include South African vocalist Nonku Phiri; Aisaana Omorova, a komuz (traditional three-stringed strummed instrument) player from Kyrgyzstan; Chicago-based producer Elijah Jamal; and Belorussian producer and singer Natalia Kuznetskaya.
OneBeat previously visited Caldera in 2015 for a three-day residency where their fellows presented workshops and performances in the community of Warm Springs, as well as at Pilot Butte Middle School and Sisters Middle School. They also did a community performance in Sisters that was co-presented by Caldera and the Sisters Folk Festival. “It’s an honor to host and work with OneBeat again. We hope to continue this fantastic partnership for years to come,” said Detman.
OneBeat uses person-to-person interaction, improvisation, and collaboration to encourage and refresh international ties between Americans, American artists and creative minds from all over the world. It’s a grassroots way to build a different kind of diplomatic dialogue that deepens trust, builds networks and creates opportunities that promote entrepreneurship and creative leaders.
“There is so much talk fueled by fear and anger these days, delivered incessantly through our phones, laptops, televisions. It’s imperative to counter these narratives, and to me that means interacting with people face to face, trying our best to connect in deeply honest, sometimes challenging ways,” says Found Sound Nation’s Elena Moon Park. “The process of collaboratively creating original music and art does this — it necessitates dialogue and compromise, listening and sharing, vulnerability and humility.”
Youth Caldera serves through its year-round program will have an opportunity to collaborate with OneBeat during the residency. They will share their combined musical creativity at Caldera’s annual Stories of Change fundraiser on Saturday, October 7 at the Caldera Arts Center. Seating is limited and tickets are available by contacting Michelle Meyer, Development Director at Michelle.Meyer@CalderaArts.org or 503-937-3065.