Who says music can’t be put on display in a museum?
In the fall, I went into a meeting with the wonderful folks at Kitchener’s THEMUSEUM to talk about how I could bring junk music into their programming. I discovered that the upcoming exhibition was all about climate change. So, I pitched the idea of installing an exhibit of my own.
And they agreed!
In the fall, I set out to install an interactive junk music wall at THEMUSEUM’s new pop-up location at the Shops at Waterloo Town Square.
Of course, you can’t have an interactive junk music wall without some music to play along with! I created a few instrumental tracks recorded with junk instruments.
Inspired by the topic of climate change, I created a song especially for this exhibit, Earth Lullaby. This song is about sustainability from an intercultural perspective. The Middle Eastern melody and guitar line represents where I come from, and is combined with Western influences (piano) and an indigenous drum and message representing where I currently live.
The song is a narrative of the Raven, a Creator, a magician, a cultural hero, and a trickster in traditional indigenous stories. The Raven uses his cunning to bring important life-giving elements to humanity such as fire, light, and the tides of the sea.
In Earth Lullaby, the Raven warns us about how we are consuming this world through greed. The refrain is influenced by vocable sections in indigenous songs, a way to make music accessible across different indigenous nations and languages during shared musical experiences.
Sustainability is a global issue which ties us all together, regardless of race, language, ability, or location. We all share this one planet. I wanted this song to reflect my roots (Egypt), and where I currently live (Canada). I am honoured to have worked alongside inspiring Indigenous elders and musicians on Earth Lullaby for both the music and the Indigenous teachings. This song is truly a remarkable collaboration of artists from an array of traditions. The result is an elegant mix of musical influences bringing diverse voices together to speak about a global concern in one accord.