November 4, 2022
Third Coast Percussion brings music from a classic Academy Award-nominated film, and new video art, to Dickinson.
The Grammy Award-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion (TCP) brings Paddle to the Sea, its program based on the 1966 Academy Award-nominated film by the same name, to the Dickinson stage.
TCP composed original music for the film of the same name. The music is performed in three sections, interspersed with new video art accompanying existing TCP repertoire on the themes of water: Philip Glass' Aguas da Amazonia, Jacob Druckman's Reflections on the Nature of Water and Chigwaya, a traditional Shona (modern-day-Zimbabwe) piece on mbira taught to TCP by master teacher Musekiwa Chingodza.
The plot of the film is simple. A Native Canadian boy carves a wooden figure of a man in a canoe and names it "Paddle to the Sea." The little boy puts Paddle in the water above Lake Superior. On the bottom of Paddle, the boy carves: "I am Paddle to the Sea. Please put me back in the water."
The film follows Paddle as it journeys through the Great Lakes and out the St. Lawrence seaway to the Atlantic Ocean. It encounters lots of people along the way, and each of these peoople must decide whether to keep Paddle for themselves or send it on its way. Paddle travels through an industrial dumping area near Detroit in the1960s, over Niagara Falls and elsewhere.
The film highlights the magnificence of a long, treacherous and exciting journey. It highlights the ways our shared waterways connect us and the value of stewardship as we all decide whether to hold on to what comes our way, or to hold it, value it, maybe improve it and then send it along its way.
The Third Coast Percussion residency and associated Paddle to the Sea concert are sponsored by the Dickinson College Music Residency Program and the Truman and Beth Bullard Music & Culture Series.