Sponsored by the School of Music and Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program
Secret Drum Band is a percussion ensemble based in Portland, Oregon. Driven by four drummers, each song also employs an array of affected vocals, guitar, and synthesizers, often mimicking sounds found in nature. Founder/composer Lisa Schonberg and composer Allan Wilson creatively document habitats and soundscapes in their compositions with the goal of drawing attention to issues concerning endangered species, habitat loss, and other environmental issues.
Their recent album Dynamic’s eight tracks were written in response to locations in the Mojave Desert, logging sites in Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon, and Hawai’i, where Schonberg’s entomology work has helped the native Hylaeus bees attain endangered species status. “Kīpukapuaulu’s” vibrant polyrhythmic cadences insinuate an endless vortex of bird calls, while the cacophonous tension of “Jazz (Timber Sale)” simultaneously evokes the complexity of the forest flora and the anxiety of approaching logging trucks. For them, music is the most publicly effective (and personally healing) vehicle to make statements about environmental issues, Schonberg’s work has been featured in places like the New York Times, The Paris Review, Portland Mercury, and the Village Voice.
During their visit to UNCG, they will be interspersing the concert with an audio/visual lecture by Lisa Schonberg on the origins of Secret Drum Band’s compositions and audio/visual samples that outlines her creative process as a composer with a background in ecology and entomology. The event will provide a unique opportunity to engage both students from the School of Music and the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program. It is free and open to the public.