Pickett's Charge, song by ellen cherry, crankie by Katherine Fahey
Pickett's Charge occurred on July 3, 1863, on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War and was considered the high water mark for the Confederacy, from which they never fully recovered. Over 50% of the men that went into this battle died--a huge casualty amount and great psychological cost, as well. On March 19, 2010, the 7th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, I was thinking about the complicated motives of why people war, the consequences of military action, both intended and unintended, and the horrible after-effects that alway follow any conflicts. Around the same time, there was a news report about a supernova star's light that was finally reaching Earth, after exploding several million years ago, and I was fascinated by the dichotomy in these two ideas and that, as a species, plenty of our thinking tends towards the painfully small-minded. (I am not excluding myself from this thinking!) All of these thoughts contributed to the writing of this song and recording it for my 2012 EP "Please Don't Sell the Piano".
I asked Katherine Fahey to create a "crankie" shadow puppet piece to accompany "Pickett's Charge". Kathy is an amazing and accomplished paper-cut artist, who has recently made incredible strides into the shadow puppet theatre world, especially through her crankies, (a hand cranked scrolling story telling device in a box). You can find more about Katherine and her incredible work at www.katherinefahey.com
I hope you'll enjoy seeing Katherine's visual interpretation of my song which was filmed by Michael Patrick O'Leary (www.michaelpatrickoleary.com) in high definition for you, here. This is truly "handmade" music and visual and performance art. Please spread the word about this video and pass the link and always, continue to support independent musicians and artists so they can continue to create! Thank you for listening and watching! Thank you to all the Indiegogo supporters who made this possible!
SPECIAL NOTE! As part of my residency in the Strathmore Artist-in-Residence program, I was asked to premiere a new work that had not been performed before. As a special treat, Katherine and I premiered "Pickett's Charge", both the crankie and the song, as part of my final performance of my residency and it occurred on February 22, 2012, at the Strathmore Mansion. Special thanks to Strathmore for encouraging collaboration and for giving us the space and time for this unique presentation.
Song: "Pickett's Charge" from "Please Don't Sell the Piano"
Songwriter/Performer: ellen cherry
Puppet Show: Katherine Fahey
Director of Photography: Michael Patrick O'Leary
Sound: Nick Sjostrom
Crank Box Construction: Neal Golden
Lights: Shaun Wilson and Neal Golden
Editing: Matt Riggieri