Sat Oct 6 2007

Lauren Pelon

Princes Street Church
Doors 8:00 pm - Admission: €13

Under the title, "The Living Roots of Music," Lauren Pelon performs music from the 1st to the 21st centuries on archlute, guitar, lute-guitar, lyre, recorders, gemshorns, cornamuse, krummhorn, schreierpfeife, shawm, rackett, pennywhistles, psalmodikon, concertina, ocarina, hurdy-gurdy, doucaine, bowed and plucked psalteries, Kiowa courting flute, eagle bone flute, synthesizers, electric wind instrument, and MIDI-pedalboard. She also traces the story of music and tells stories about the development of instruments throughout history.

Pelon is a vocalist as well. Her original songs and her haunting renditions of ballads collected by Francis Child in the late 19th century have been especially appealing to audiences. A recent reviewer wrote, "Lauren Pelon is a showpiece by virtue of her beautiful, fervent voice and her extraordinary talents on an assortment of unusual, but authentic instruments."

Ms. Pelon, recipient of the 2001 "Artist of the Year" Award from Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC), has studied the history of music and instrumentation both in America and overseas. She has performed in concerts throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and China. Recent tours took her to Australia, to perform at Australian National University, Canberra, ACT; to the Russian Institute for the History of the Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia; and to the Conservatory of Music in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Pelon has also performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras, on television specials and with Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion."

"I am fascinated by the interesting ways people of other cultures and different times have found to make music," says Pelon. "I especially enjoy doing these programs because they differ from ordinary concert performances. They offer not only an opportunity to listen to music, but also a way to think about how music has affected the lives of people all over the world -- from ancient times to our own modern day."

Her current program features music from ancient Greece, medieval and renaissance Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas. Dr. William Kearns, Director, American Music Research Center, Boulder, Colorado, called the program "captivating and awesome," and wrote, "Her repertory ran the historical gamut, from a rendition of one of our first ancient Greek scripted pieces to her own contemporary compositions. It's breadth was amazing -- jigs, laments, fancies, songs, ballads, and calls drawn from different nationalities -- a truly universal presentation of both old-world and new-world music...I have never witnessed such an effective program of music and it's role in society done by a single person."