Today on Morning Line: Keys to Life Executive Director Shirley Mae Springer-Staten & Teaching Artist Glacéia Henderson visit about the upcoming Hiland Mountain Lullaby Concert, This coming Saturday November 18.
The lullaby project pairs incarcerated mothers at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Facility with Teaching Artists, who are singers and songwriters, and in this way a mother in prison creates a song for her child or children.
Springer-Staten says the incarcerated mothers prepare for the experience by writing a letter to their child – but with a twist – picture that this letter will be given to the child when he or she is 20 years old.
Henderson is a new Teaching Artist this year, having heard about the project from her son’s piano teacher. She sat with her mother-inmate and, using the sentiment and words the mother had prepared in the letter, crafted a song together – Baby Dumpling.
She says that some time later, after it had been recorded, she was nervous about whether or not the mother would like it.
During the interim before meeting again, the song had been recorded at Surreal Studios, with a host of additional artists, from vocalists like Suzanne Little, piano accompanists, percussionists like John Donberg, and editing and effects from the studio, to transform the heartfelt lyrics into a recorded song.
Henderson says when she played the song for the woman, her reaction was a mix of surprise and intense emotion, “She was very quiet, ‘Oh, it’s a real song,’ she said, and then slowly, the tears starting rolling down her face.”
To hear the music, you can attend the concert November 18th at 1pm – (10am show for the inmates)
Ticket information is here: http://tickets.centertix.com/lullaby
The album is also will be available after Thursday, and for more information check out the Keys to Life website: http://www.keystolifealaska.com/hiland_mountain_lullaby_project.html
The Hiland Mountain Lullaby Project is one of more than twenty Carnegie Weill Music Institute lullaby projects across the country, and one of only four working in correctional settings.
The project is in it’s second year, and there are plans in place for next year, to include incarcerated fathers. This year, 15 of the 400-plus incarcerated women at Hiland participated, and last year, 16 women wrote songs.