Leaving Home: Pioneers at the Edge
Project Goals: Leaving Home: Pioneers at the Edge is a multi-media, sound and music-focused project that will create a new way to connect Americans living throughout the USA to those seeking asylum in our country. Issues at our borders don't stay at our borders, they spread throughout our communities. By encouraging empathy and understanding, this project will provide an opportunity to explore the connections and similarities of our collective human experience.
Leaving Home: Pioneers at the Edge is a multi-media project partnering with humanitarian aid organizations and journalists specializing in border issues that will feature audio recordings of conversations with children seeking asylum. These conversations will be integrated into a music album and premiered in a live multi-media performance.
Children are a unifying force in our society. The power of their stories and experiences has potential to reach a wide audience. Music is a common denominator across all cultures, inspiring emotion and uniting through a collective experience. By integrating the stories of children into music, we hope to spread awareness of the realities of the situations at America's southern border. Through the sound of children expressing their thoughts in their own voices, combined with music, challenging the scare tactics prevailing in the narrative, Leaving Home: Pioneers at the Edge will provide a different view of one of our country’s biggest social issues in a way that can be easily shared and experienced.
Extreme care will be taken with these conversations to project the safety and identity of the children recorded and will not engage in any questioning that might cause re-traumatization for the children. These conversations will inform the music to be written and/or arranged specifically for the album and will be integrated into the final product by composer Crystal Grooms Mangano. The music will be a combination of original music and cinematic arrangements of popular folk songs. The music will be finalized in a collective album which will debut with a live multi-media performance at the end of the production.
About the Production
How will we conduct the interviews?
With a small group of children, we will provide art supplies and encourage them to draw a self-portrait. As they are drawing we will talk to them about what they are drawing and ask them a few questions about themselves. Potential questions to be asked:
- What do you like to wear?
- What is your favorite song?
- What is your favorite food?
- Who is your best friend?
- What is something you are really good at?
- What are you scared of?
- If you could be an animal, what would you be?
- What is something you're thankful for?
- What makes you happy when you are sad?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
Casa Alitas, Tucson, AZ, USA
Voices from the Border apartments, Nogales, Mexico
Potential 3rd location
Interviews and conversations will be held in a language the child is most comfortable with, conducted by someone fluent in that language and with experience in these settings. The interviewer will also act as a translator during the recording to help facilitate the conversations between the children and the production team.
To maximize the potential to reach an English speaking audience, after the interviews are completed, selections from those conversations will be recorded in English by other children of a similar age and used in the final album.
February 2023 - Recording conversations with children in Tucson, AZ and Nogales, MX
February 2022 - May 2023 - Music composition, recording and mixing
April/May 2023 - Recording English audio translations in Los Angeles, CA
May 2023 - Live performance, TBD Arizona location