Musician and teacher Eric Carranza with students at a Pop-Up Music Making Booth at the Walker Art Center in 2017.
“What does Lanesboro sound like?” Saint Paul based composer, multi-instrumentalist and teacher Eric Carranza plans to find out while living and working in Lanesboro August 5-September 2, 2019, as artist in residence with Lanesboro Arts, supported by the Jerome Foundation.
Carranza believes that a given environment can deeply influence a piece of music or a story. With a location-based focus and a mobile rig of music making tools, he is inviting community members of all backgrounds and musical abilities to create “Root River Vibrations,” a series of musical vignettes inspired by the people, landscape and energy of Lanesboro.
With his accessible process, inclusive approach and infectious enthusiasm, Eric brings people from all walks of life together to reflect, share, be creative and have fun. Whether in a park, theatre, pub or pop-up venue, his main goals are to empower others through music and provide a platform for artists. Enamored with the concept of location-based composing and creating, Eric’s mobile rig of devices and instruments allows him, and participants, to create and record ideas no matter where they are. He feels this allows for a certain level of creativity that always being confined to a studio or other formal space can often stifle. Captivated with Lanesboro since stumbling upon it by chance a few years ago, Eric is incredibly excited to spend time creating, interacting, and engaging with the community members.
Anyone interested in participating in the project, sharing stories, or learning more is invited to meet Eric at a Welcome Discussion and Potluck Dinner Tuesday, August 6 in the upper level of the St. Mane Theatre in Lanesboro. Bring a dish to pass from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The planning meeting for “Over the Back Fence” will follow at 7 p.m.
Carranza will lead a public Music Making & Storytelling Workshop outdoors on the river deck behind High Court Pub in Lanesboro on Thursday, August 8, at 6:30 p.m. Rain site is High Court’s second floor. The regular Open Mic Night will follow the workshop at 7:30 p.m. and Eric is planning to share his music and stories there. He invites community members to join him at future Open Mic Nights at High Court Pub on August 15 and 22 as well.
On Saturday, August 10, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Carranza will lead a Riverside Community Conversation & Music Making Gathering in Lanesboro’s Gateway Park (the green space across from the Baseball/Softball Field between the County Road 8 Underpass and the Coffee Street Walking Bridge), which will include a large drum circle courtesy of Aaron Tafoya of Empowered Percussion. Refreshments will be provided. As Carranza’s central outreach event, music and stories shared by the river will significantly inform his “Root River Vibrations” project. Community members are also encouraged to stop by Eric’s Pop-Up Music Making Booth at the Lanesboro Farmer’s Market earlier that same day between 9 a.m. and noon to get creative with Carranza’s instruments and samplers.
Following the riverside event on August 10, Carranza will continue to engage with community groups while working in the studio above the St. Mane Theatre to create the “Root River Vibrations” series. The final compositions will be performed and presented at a Capstone Concert & Listening Party in a pop-up outdoor patio space to be created next to the mural behind the St. Mane Theatre on Thursday, August 29, at 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided.
Through participating in Lanesboro events like Open Mic Night, spending time outdoors, engaging community members through meals, and staging interactive informal music making events, Eric says that “‘Root River Vibrations’ will musically explore the places we inhabit and the different versions of ourselves that are realized as a result.”
Eric will perform alongside cast members as musical guest on the “Over the Back Fence” Variety Show on Friday, August 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Mane Theatre. Those interested in participating in the show can attend rehearsals on Tuesday, August 6, at 7 p.m. and Friday, August 9, at 5:30 p.m. at the St. Mane Theatre. The rehearsal on August 6 is happening immediately following the Welcome Discussion & Potluck.
Carranza is also inviting community members to join him at a pair of informal and reflective meet-up events: A morning river walk beginning in front of the St. Mane Theatre on Tuesday, August 20, at 8 a.m. and a dinner conversation at Pedal Pushers Cafe at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 22, prior to the High Court Open Mic.
Passionate about engaging seniors and youth, Eric will give a mini-performance at Kenilworth Apartments, following SEMCAC Senior Dining on August 8, and visit the preschool classroom and Kids Korner group at Lanesboro Child Care Center on August 16.
A Farewell Discussion & Reception is scheduled for Sunday, September 1, at 4 p.m. on the Lanesboro Museum River Porch. Participants are welcome to provide feedback and hear first-hand about the themes explored and the stories revealed during four weeks of community engagement that had Lanesboro area participants creating music and recording ideas no matter where they were
Musician and teacher Eric Carranza has a rich and diverse pool of performance projects to juggle (Excessive, Hot Date, batteryboy, Yeti Steady, etc.), in addition to musical composition and sound design work for mobile games, apps, ads, and more. He is also known in the Twin Cities for his community and art-forward events, with various venues and organizations such as Springboard for the Arts, Walker Art Center, Saint Paul Art Crawl, and many others. Carranza has also led interactive music making events with Walker Art Center, Visit Lake Street, and East Side Arts Council that blend performance, teaching, and collaboration. Carranza has been offering private lessons to people of all ages in the Twin Cities area since 2007. He has taught music in early childhood education at St. Paul Public Schools, as well as music therapy programs at Minnesota Veterans Homes.
Carranza comes highly recommended by the Lanesboro Arts Residency panel, from a competitive pool of applicants living and working in Minnesota and New York City. Since the Lanesboro Residency Program’s inception in 2001, Lanesboro Arts has brought 48 artists to Lanesboro for Artist Residencies. Supported by the Jerome Foundation, the Artist Residency Program provides opportunities for emerging artists to create new work and integrate work into the local community. Lanesboro Arts Residencies include stipend, lodging and studio space. For more information, visit lanesboroarts.org or call 507-467-2446.