Lauren Pelon in concert at the library
Lauren Pelon and one of her historical instruments. — submitted poto
North Central Regional Library will be hosting a unique concert at five sites in Central Washington: Tuesday, April 16, 7pm, Waterville Library; Wednesday, Apr. 17, 7 p.m., Grand Coulee Library; Thursday, Apr. 18, 7 p.m., Republic Library; Friday, Apr. 19, 3 p.m., Ephrata Library; Saturday, Apr. 20, 3 p.m., Moses Lake Library.
Under the title, The Living Roots of Music, Lauren Pelon traces the story of music and performs music from around the world on lute, guitar, lute-guitar, lyre, recorders, gemshorns, cornamuse, krummhorn, schreierpfeife, shawm, rackett, pennywhistles, concertina, ocarina, hurdy-gurdy, doucaine, Kiowa courting flute, synthesizers, electric wind instrument and MIDI-pedalboard.
Pelon is a vocalist as well, and her original songs and ancient ballads have been especially appealing to audiences. A Michigan reviewer wrote, "Lauren Pelon is a showpiece by virtue of her beautiful, fervent voice and her extraordinary talents on an assortment of unusual, but authentic instruments."
Ms. Pelon was the recipient of a 2001 “Artist of the Year” Award from Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, and 2010 Artist Initiative Award from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She studied the history of music and instrumentation both in America and overseas. She has performed in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the Russian Institute for the History of the Arts, the Conservatory of Music in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and in concerts throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and China. In a recent overseas tour, Pelon presented concerts throughout New Zealand and Australia, and gave the 18th Annual Gordon Anderson Memorial Lecture at the University of New England, New South Wales. She has also performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras, on television specials and on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”
"I am fascinated by the interesting ways people of other cultures and different times have found to make music," says Pelon. "I especially enjoy doing these programs because they differ from ordinary concert performances.
They offer not only an opportunity to listen to music, but also a way to think about how music has affected the lives of people all over the world -- from ancient times to our own modern day."
Pelon’s current program melds her own original compositions with her arrangements of music from ancient Greece, medieval Europe, and contemporary Africa and Middle East. William Kearns, American Music Research Center, Boulder, Colorado, called the program "captivating and awesome." A reviewer for The Canberra Times, Australia wrote, “Lauren Pelon has devised a unique evening of entertainment by combining a wide variety of music from many centuries... Her versatility with more than 25 instruments including voice is admirable...an experience made all the more pleasant by Pelon’s relaxed and warm presentation of the rare and unusual.”