A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
For a break from the madness and slime, here’s ever-cool Patti Smith joining the fabulous Choir! Choir! Choir!, led by Canadian artists Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman, who transform crowds of strangers into a joyful, impromptu, powerful community in the name of “leveraging music as a global language.” The pair has led up to a thousand singers through brief rehearsals followed by improbably stirring performances with the likes of David Bryne and Rufus Wainwright, in locations ranging from Carnegie Hall to empty warehouses. They released video of Smith’s April performance at New York’s “Onassis Festival 2019: Democracy Is Coming” – with Stewart Copeland on Brazillian frying pan – as an exuberant warmup to a special free concert they’ve planned for October 13th along the US/Mexico border. With today’s toxic rhetoric, the border has seen several cross-cultural efforts – protests, pop-up playgrounds, environmental actions. The upcoming concert, to be held at California’s Boarder Field State Park, likewise hopes to celebrate friendship, unity, diversity, with 300 singers on the Tijuana side and 500 on the San Diego side singing “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Happily, Smith and the buoyant crowd sound the same theme of solidarity, blasting her perfect anthem for the times: “The people have the power/to redeem the work of fools.”
First published in Common Dreams.