About this project
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LADAMA is going on tour in South America in February and March of 2016! We will be giving free workshops and public performances and we need you to help us reach as many communities as possible by backing our project! Support LADAMA as we write and perform music with youth and women across continents.
WHAT IS LADAMA?
LADAMA is a music ensemble of five women from Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and the United States who are focused on fostering creativity among youth and women in their respective communities.
We believe that experimentalism is key to discovering agency through voice.
The purposes of our workshops are:
- To provide creative, interactive spaces by putting into practice the capacity of each participant's ability to improvise;
- To use lyrics and melody to accompany the rhythms and sounds of their bodies with or without conventional instruments such as the drums, guitar or voice.
By using creative strategies and improvisation, we hope to construct a point between that of which we think and feel, and to foster space for others to identify their desires, abilities and potential so that their life orientation focuses on their capacity to create.
Though rooted in specific musical techniques and cultural traditions, our exercises and music-making will focus on community building and original composition.
More than anything we wish to draw out the personal voice of each participant. We encourage all to express their humanity, and to use personal expression to address issues pertinent to them.
Participants will also learn the basics of recording and discuss aspects of what it means to be a touring musician, writer, producer and educator in their communities.
HOW DID THIS TOUR HAPPEN?
After we won a grant to cover our airfare to each of our countries, we began planning our tour. For the last year we have been building relationships with organizations in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela in order to facilitate and execute workshops in public spaces, cultural institutions and classrooms.
We will be spending 2-3 weeks in each country.
Brazil: February 2nd - February 22nd
We will be in Recife where we will set up shop in Paco do Frevo and Secretaria da Mulher, a performing arts center and cultural hub of the region of Pernambuco. There we will hold a Creative Exchange Residency and give workshops to students from diverse communities. We will also be working with young musicians from the community of Alto do Pascoal at Rotary Escola Municipal do Alto do Pascoal.
Colombia: February 23rd - March 12th
In Colombia we will spend ten days in Bogotá and nine days in San Basilio de Palenque. We will be partnering with the Secretariat de la Mujer y la Casa and working with young women and children in after-school settings with the help of DARTES (Instituto Distrital de las Rates), IDIPRON, and Casa de la Protección de la Mujer.
Venezuela: March 13th - March 28th
In Venezuela we will visit Barlovento, Caracas and Barquisimeto and work in cooperation with schools and students in each community.
Our rewards for backing this project and becoming a part of the LADAMA community are mostly immaterial. Because we value creation and participation our rewards are process-oriented.
Here's a rundown:
- Our thank you! - For $1, your name will be featured on our list of supporters on our website.
- Musical thanks! - For $5, we will send you/post a musical thank you; performed by LADAMA.
- One LADAMA download- Starting at $10 level and beyond, you will receive one LADAMA original song and your name on our list of supporters.
- LADAMA EP- At $25 and up you will receive a digital LADAMA EP of original compositions and your name on our list of supporters.
- Podcasts - At the $50 level and up you will receive podcasts. Through conversation and interviews, members of LADAMA will discuss topics relevant to their diverse communities. Topics may include: Being a professional musician in Venezuela (Maria); music therapy techniques and why they are important for healing and learning (Lara); the new music movement in Bogotá, and the exciting ways young people are playing Gaita, Cumbia and Bullerengue (Daniela). Plus a LADAMA EP, and your name on our list of supporters.
- PDFs of Workshops - At the $100 level and up, you will receive a digital packet of instructions and creative strategies from LADAMA workshops. Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Plus podcasts, LADAMA EP, and your name on our list of supporters.
- Mixtape and playlists- At the $250 level you will receive a mixtape of music from other projects of members of LADAMA. You will also receive curated playlists (with personal liner notes) on Spotify and YouTube of important artists and mentors in our communities, highlighting women performers and composers. Learn more about music from our countries! Plus workshops, podcasts, LADAMA EP, and your name on our list of supporters.
- Meet and greet reception- At the $500 level you will be able to meet the band in person! During the reception we will conduct a Q & A session with backers and play a short set. Due to geography, our availability is limited to: Recife, Brazil (February 10-21st); Bogota, Colombia (February 23rd - March 1st); Barquisimeto, Venezuela (March 20th - March 24th). Additionally, you will receive the mixtape/playlists, workshops, podcasts, LADAMA EP, and your name on our list of supporters.
- LADAMA performances - at $1500 and up, you can hire us to play an event for 45 minutes in select cities (see availability)! We will come to you! Plus a mixtape/playlists, workshops, podcasts, LADAMA EP, and your name on our list of supporters.
Stay updated with our project. We will also be rolling out limited rewards from artists in our communities who have donated their goods and services to our Kickstarter!
WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO IF YOU BECOME A BACKER?
LADAMA was the first arts-based initiative to receive the Alumni Exchange International Fund award, a grant that supports grassroots organizing at a community level. We are also the recipients of a Performing Americas Grant for a Creative Exchange in Brazil, funded by the National Performer’s Network. However, we are crowd funding this project because there are a few things these grants do not cover:
- Artist fees/in-country travel expenses
- Documentation: In order to create a visible online community that connects participants in each country, we need to hire documentarians to film our workshops, interviews with students and our performances.
- Post-production; video/music: Though we will be doing the bulk of engineering on our own, we would like to hire professional engineers from our communities to assist in post-production.
The five of us met at OneBeat, a fellowship that brings musicians from around the world to create civically-minded initiatives and write original work in a collaboration-based setting. During our time at OneBeat, María Fernanda González, a bandola llanera player, and two other fellows — Daniela Serna, a percussionist, sound designer and composer from Bogota, Colombia, and Lara Klaus, a drummer, percussionist, composer and educator from Recife, Brazil — formed LADAMA with the intention of helping empower youth and women in Latin American communities. Afterwards they asked fellow Sara Lucas (me!) — a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York — to join them. Once I became part of the ensemble we extended our focus and reach to North America with the intention of working specifically in our respective communities. With the addition of Aurora Nealand — a saxophonist and composer from New Orleans, Louisiana and a OneBeat 2013 alum — LADAMA will be visiting four countries in early 2016.
We formulated a project around the idea of empowering youth and women to participate in all areas of music performance and creation, in the belief that, if given the opportunity to create projects for themselves, they might be inclined to follow their creativity to an empowering and community-building end.
We cannot wait to see how we are in turn transformed by these very qualities that will undoubtedly exist in the work that the youth and women of the communities will be creating in our workshops.
Watch Daniela explain the genesis of LADAMA and her experience composing a song for a young girl:
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THIS TOUR?
Our project begins with a tour in South America but does not end there. For the final leg of our journey we will travel to Brooklyn, NY in May of 2016. There we will hold a week-long residency and final performance on May 21st at National Sawdust. We have partnered with Brooklyn-based Found Sound Nation to execute workshops and performances in and around Sunset Park and Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Jackson Heights, Queens. In total, we plan to be in New York for 2-3 weeks.
What happens with the work created in workshops?
We believe that the sound pieces and songs created in our workshops could be used in the future as public art or installations to facilitate dialogue or to initiate and inspire creative projects. And we hope that our work will advocate for youth to become active in creative arenas. We will create an online, interactive community that our participants can access to listen to work that they have created.
We are not alone. We have friends creating community-oriented projects that focus on original composition and social issues that inform and inspire ours.
- Play it Forward Mumbai is an organization in Mumbai, India that was created by Sanaya Ardeshir (Sandunes) - an electronic producer, engineer, and pianist - that "aims to use the unique potential of the music-making process to empower and engage young girls from diverse communities across Mumbai."
- The Nile Project is a group of musicians from 11 countries bordering the Nile River in Africa. They are "transforming the Nile conflict by inspiring, educating, and empowering an international network of...students to cultivate the sustainability of their ecosystem." They use music and education to engage students across geographies and various disciplines.
LEARN MORE ABOUT WHO WE ARE
Lara Klaus is a Recife, Brazil-based percussionist, educator, drummer, singer and composer. Studying at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (Brazil) and Universidade de Aveiro (Portugal), Lara focused on mastering traditional percussion such as pandeiro, alfaia, zabumba and other world music instruments along with the rhythms of Northeast Brazil. She has played at festivals around the world including the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Latino Americando (Italy) and Samba Festival (Germany). Lara has performed and taught all-ages workshops throughout South America, Europe and the United States including New York University, Maracatu New York and Espírito Mundo in France. As a drummer and multi-instrumentalist, she has been featured in ensembles with renowned Brazilian musicians including Luciano Magno, Elba Ramalho, Roberto Mescal and Moraes Moreira. Lara is currently finishing a postgraduate course in Music Therapy and teaches music at Integrarte, a nonprofit which works with children and adults with Down Syndrome, where she is the music director of Maracaarte.
Maria Fernanda Gonzalez is a Barquisimeto, Venezuela-based multi-instrumentalist and journalist. After years of studying cuatro, mandolin and violin, Maria decided to take up the bandola llanera, an obscure Venezuelan instrument with well-known few female performers. She has performed internationally including the Festival of Música llanera the Silbón (Venezuela), the festival Girara de Oro (Colombia), the 32nd Music Office Curitiba (Brazil), The International Jazz Festival Barquisimeto (Venezuela) and Folklorico Summer Festivals (Portugal and Spain). She recently completed a European tour- traveling to Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, France, and Italy- performing joropos, a traditional music of the high plains of Venezuela, with the ensemble Jirahara. She is currently enrolled at The University of Yacambú, Venezuela where she will receive a degree in social communication. She also teaches master classes on the bandola llanera and is working on codifying and writing a new universal teaching method for the instrument. Through performance and education and promotion of the bandola llanera on the scale of the Venezuelan cuatro and the joropo llanero, she seeks to promote the integration of women into the field of interpreting traditional Venezuelan music as it is one in which they are sorely underrepresented.
Daniela Serna is a Bogotá-based composer, percussionist, educator and sound artist. As both a performer and educator, she has spent the last ten years working with traditional Caribbean Colombian rhythms such as bullerengue, gaita, cumbia, porro and fandango music styles. Well versed in global rock and pop, her travels have taken her to Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina. She is the founder of La Perla an all-female Caribbean folk band, recent winners of the XXXI Festival de Gaita larga Francisco Llirene in Ovejas, Sucre. In 2014 she presented “Bullerengue Covers,” a sound installation exploring the sonics of tambour alegre (hand drum) and surrounding space for which El Puente, her experimental duo with Uva Lunera, composed the music. In 2012 she won a Señal Radio Colombia contest to perform with legendary folk-singer bullerengue queen Petrona Martínez.
Sara Lucas is a New York-based singer, songwriter and guitarist. As co-bandleader of Callers, a project she founded with multi-instrumentalist and composer Ryan Seaton, she has co-produced and released three full-length albums (Fortune, Life Of Love and Reviver) and a seven-inch split with Luaka Bop artist, Delicate Steve. They have toured Europe and North America headlining and supporting others such as Dirty Projectors, Here We Go Magic, ESG and Wye Oak and have shared stages with Patti Smith, Arto Lindsey, Tune-yards and Nat Baldwin. Callers has earned spots at festivals including Primavera Club (Spain), Tanned Tin Festival (Spain), Crossing Brooklyn Ferry at BAM (Brooklyn, NY), Festival de la Musica Nelle (Italy) and the Hillside Fest (Guelph, Ontario) and have played as guests on WNYC’s Soundcheck and Spinning On Air, VPRO in Amsterdam, Netherlands and the Dean Jackson Show on the BBC in Nottingham. In 2015 Lucas served as a facilitator for production workshops with youth in Brooklyn and Hudson, NY with Found Sound Nation and Hear Be Dragons.
Aurora Nealand is a sound artist, composer, vocalist and saxophonist based in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the leader of The Royal Roses - an award-winning traditional jazz band- and saxophonist for the Panorama Jazz Band. Her solo project, The Monocle (accordion, electronics and voice), explores the fringes of artistic expression, drawing on her interest & experience in physical theater, installation and sonic art. She is the co-founder of SONO (Sound Observatory New Orleans) which facilitates and hosts international artist residencies and workshops new music in the New Orleans region, and has toured internationally as a featured artist to festivals including Istanbul Jazz Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, MPB Jazz Festival (Natal, Brazil), Lincoln Center Out of Doors, and the European Swing Dance Championships (Stockholm). She has worked in musical collaboration with artists including Arto Lindsay, Tim Robbins, Joe Lally (Fugazi), Germaine Bazzle, The Ross Brothers (film score), and Simon Berz and has appeared on HBO's TV series Treme (recurring role as herself) and NCSI: New Orleans. She holds a degree in Contemporary Music from Oberlin Conservatory, and has studied at the Jacques Lecoq School of Physical Theatre in Paris. Nealand was awarded a 2014 Distillery Residency at the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center and a 2015 MacDowell Colony residency to develop her original operetta about Female Hysteria.
Risks and challenges
As far as risks and challenges go, we will be going to South America no matter what. But we may not be able to develop music, video, and other documentation necessary to fully realizing our vision of this project. It will also be harder to book and plan future engagements and tours if we do not have content that shows our work.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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