Last week, Robert Mirabal was one of a few artists chosen to perform at “The Way of the Rain-Voices of Hope”, an event attended by Robert Redford and Al Gore at Carnegie Hall in NYC
Bill Curry was there, and what follows is a guest post from him along with the gorgeous photographs you see here.
In Bill’s own words:
The world renowned music venue of Carnegie hall was designed by architect William Burnet Tuthill and built by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1891, it is one of the most prestigious venues in the world for both classical music and popular music.
Carnegie Hall in New York City is considered to be a pinnacle performance venue by classical musicians world-wide. Many legendary jazz and popular music performers have given memorable performances at Carnegie Hall including Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Billie Holiday, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, The Beatles Violetta Villas, Judy Garland, Harry Belafonte, Charles Aznavour, Ike & Tina Turner, Paul Robeson, Nina Simone, Shirley Bassey, James Gang and Stevie Ray Vaughan, all of whom made celebrated live recordings of their concerts there. (Editor’s Note: So did Bob Dylan play this small and beautiful hall., In fact this was our Nobel Lit’s first shot outa the (Village), gate).
The great conductor and violinist Isaac Stern was quoted “ Everywhere in the world, music enhances a hall, with one exception: Carnegie Hall enhances the music.
On the evening of December 4th, at Carnegie Hall, the Taos Pueblo’s Grammy award-winning musician Robert Mirabal had his musical experience enhanced and the very appreciative “ The Way of the Rain” audience had its musical and spiritual experience enhanced by Robert Mirabal in return. The Way of the Rain-Voices of Hope was a Music, Art, and Film experience, an Homage to Planet Earth. The event was hosted by Robert Redford and Al Gore along with composer Tim Janis and Artistic Director, Sibylle Szaggars Redford.
The program told the artistic story about the formation of the Universe, the evolution of all galaxies, and eventually the birth of the unique and beautiful Planet Earth with all its elements. This version of The Way of the Rain is a creation for symphony, choir, solo voices, film, art and spoken word.
This night the live performances of the multi talented cast of nearly 300 on stage was spell binding and magical.
The symphony opened with original musical by Tim Janis, Chaos, Big Bang, Milky Way, Water along with 125 piece Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra and was followed by Chinese American Christopher Tin and vocalist Nigerian English Alex Boye’ who was named 2017 Rising Artist of the Year. Canadian Celtic style singer Lorena McKennit sang Dante’s Prayer.
Robert came out to perform Fire and original piece by him and Tim Janis with Mairead Nesbiit on violin.
Actor Robert Redford along with Pulitzer Prize winner in Literature and Kiowa elder N. Scott Momaday spoke elegantly and eloquently about the formation of our Universe and specifically about the beauty and fragility of our Mother Earth. Two octogenarians at the height of their vocal resonance.
Laura Dias of Broadway fame sang Sing to the Moon in a most ethereal, captivating way.
Robert Mirabal’s rousing introduction was made by former vice president and environment champion Al Gore after a rousing voice in the wilderness speech on Climate Change. He said there are 195 nations that signed on to the Paris Climate accord. The USA is the only one to withdraw from the agreement. That is bad news. The good news is that the withdrawal will not take effect until two months after this current President is out of office. There was a thunderous applause.
As moving the words by Gore, it was Robert Mirabal, farmer, flutist, performer, singer, actor who showed this evening he has the ability to deeply touch hearts with his authenticity and charisma, be it 25 people at El Monte Segrado’s intimate setting or this night the 2804 person sold out audience at Carnegie. He spoke of his Taos Pueblo origins, the meaning and the way of the Blue Corn, offering up to all his home-grown blue corn kernels to be taken home at the end of the show and planted for sustenance . No Monsanto, no GMO.
As Robert came on stage with a hand drum and sang a traditional Tiwa song solo one could hear a reverent silence not generally known to a New York crowd. Evan Trujillo came down the aisle as an Eagle dancer in step with Roberts drum heart beat. It was captivating and uplifting. From the balcony box seats could be heard the trilling ululations of First Nation Women in attendance. Tears flowed, hearts lifted and people were mesmerized.
Robert’s daughters Aspen Dawn 18, Kona Sunrise 16 and Masa Rain “ Little Grandmother” 11 years of age came out in traditional buck skin regalia and eagle fans and sang a solo with Robert and the 200 Voices of Hope Youth Choir supporting their sweet soul felt song, got the evenings loudest applause and vocal cheers.
There is a quote to the wife of violinist Mischa Elman “One day, after a rehearsal that hadn’t pleased Elman, a couple was leaving Carnegie Hall by the backstage entrance when they were approached him. The two tourists were looking for the hall’s entrance. Seeing his violin case, they asked, ‘How do you get to Carnegie Hall?’ Without looking up and continuing on his way, Elman simply replied, ‘Practice.’
Musically Robert Mirabal has practiced since he was 18 to be lauded in such a way musically at the grand Carnegie Hall. Even more so he has practiced his entire life to represent the Mother Earth in humble ceremony and song.
The night was an inspirational blessing to me and all who attended The Way of the Rain-Voices of Hope. Robert Mirabal held sacred space for all of Manhattan and the Earth.
Robert Mirabal will host his 26th annual Holiday show at the TCA in Taos this coming Friday Evening, Dec 15th. For more information on tickets and time, please visit the site linked below.
All photographs by Bill Curry
Editor’s Note: Bill Curry emailed me the following, a few hours after publishing.
A few corrections. Carnegie Hall – TWOTR – Voices of Hope was hosted by Sibylle Szaggars Redford and Tim Janis – with the storyline created by Sibylle Szaggars Redford with music composed especially for this version by Tim Janis.