The 2017-2018 season of Soundings: New Music at the Nasher begins with the world premiere of Third Coast Percussion’s new performance project based on the classic children’s book and Academy Award-nominated film Paddle to the Sea. Looking at our relationship to the bodies of water that connect our lives, Paddle to the Sea tells the story of a Native Canadian boy who carves a wooden figure called Paddle-to-the-Sea and sets him on a journey through all five Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and finally to the Atlantic Ocean. The story underscores the geographic, economic, and cultural connections formed by our shared waterways, and asks us to consider the human impact on the waters that help us transport our goods, provide our electrical power, bathe ourselves, cook our food, and quench our thirst.
Providing a live “soundtrack”, Third Coast Percussion performs works inspired by impressions of water and the natural world by Philip Glass, Jacob Druckman, traditional music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe, and music of its own, creating a performance that flows seamlessly throughout the course of the film.
This project was the brainchild of Tom Welsh, Director of Performing Arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art. It was developed at Third Coast Percussion’s Yellow Barn Artist Residency in October 2016.