My Cultural Projects are where Art and Anthropology meet — and fall in love.
Anthropology has long been an academic discipline of words, but in these projects I explore culture from the viewpoint of an artist, and I get my hands pretty dirty doing it. During the course of my adventures traveling through the West African countryside, I sought to immerse myself in the culture of the places I visited, and to understand and appreciate their particular way of seeing themselves in the world. And because I’m a musician, I’m fascinated by how people in other parts of the world use music to build community and even create powerful, sacred experiences.
After the travels are over, what I’m left with is stories — stories of real people facing unique challenges living on Earth. I want to create Art about these stories and people because it helps me delve into their significance, and share with the world a sliver of the human experience they might not ordinarily see. In the process, it helps us see ourselves better too. After all, we’re all cut from the same cloth.
These projects usually attempt to do one of two things (or both): accurately document what I learned, and express my feelings about those things. It turns out that Art is a pretty handy vessel for communicating both information and emotions simultaneously. I attempt to make my research beautiful, and my art thoughtful and informed. Sometimes the line between my art and my research blurs, and I’m OK with that.
While all of the projects on this website could be described as cultural projects, the projects below fall slightly more into the realm of anthropology and ethnomusicology, and meet somewhere in the middle between art and academia. I hope you enjoy discovering them as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Click the thumbnails below to learn more about a project.