Indigenous Gourd Orchestra resides in Richmond, Virginia, where members grow gourds, make instruments and create music. A band of musicians with dirt under their fingernails--they put the "cult" back into culture,
and "culture" back into agriculture.
In an age prone to technological idolatry and cultural narcissism, where
media seems endlessly fascinated with itself, the Gourd Orchestra directly
reaffirms their relationship with nature.
While listening to other beings and species, Orchestra members learned
Gourd the importance of spreading seed-ideas globally. They learned that
only when these seed-ideas take root locally do they mature and come to
fruition; that music, culture, art and spirituality can be the fruits
of carefully and patiently attended gardens and communities. They inspire listeners to be makers and not just consumers.
You will hear musical ideas from around the world transformed and given
life from the soil of Virginia. And you will hear sounds from spirits
unique to this place.
custom made costumes and headgear, they give gardening tips,
delve into gourd lore, brag about their vast, if questionable, ethnomusicological
knowledge, and generally try to explain themselves. But mostly they play
"gourdeous " music. "I planted a seed and grew an orchestra!" proclaims Arthur " Professor
of Gourdology" Stephens.
The Orchestra performs at schools, galleries, museums, garden clubs, weddings,
parties and festivals. Recently they created, for a film festival, an
original score that is performed live with the 1922 silent documentary
" Nanook of the North ". In schools they teach workshops and give lecture
demonstrations. Once a year they take a pilgrimage to the worlds biggest
gourd show, in Mt. Giliad Ohio, where they perform for the crowning of
the Gourd Queen.
"We're out standing in our field " says Arthur. And that's probably where
you'll find them.