Monday, July 21, 2008

Current Project

Aurora Lights will be releasing their newest project, a music CD centered on the culture and environmental issues in southern West Virginia, in June of 2009.  Check out our myspace page.  This music CD is the second music compilation Aurora Lights has produced, the first being “Moving Mountains: Voices of Appalachia Rise Up Against Mountaintop Removal.”

This new CD being compiled by Jen Osha and Sam McCreery and will have an online map component of participatory maps of the Coal River Valley. The participatory maps will consist of 3-5 layers focused on Coal River Valley as well as more detailed maps for areas of special concern. The maps serve as the central feature on the website through which additional multimedia, including web links, video, pictures, additional interviews and songs, can be geographically linked.

Aurora Lights was founded by Jen Osha in 1999 and has a mission to “strengthen connections within and between human communities and their natural environment.” In West Virginia, Aurora Lights supports hands-on environmental educational programs for college students, reforestation programs through their native trees nursery, and overseas opportunities for local students to travel to the Ecuadorian Amazon to experience First People’s connections to the land. They specifically organize, lead and fund weekend trips to the coalfields as well as summer internships.

The new compilation CD will have quite a line-up of musicians. A song from the up and coming band, Rising Appalachia (RISE), will also be featured on the CD. They have been compared Ani Difranco, The Be Good Tanyas and Bjork. Playing a fiddle, banjo, kalimba, and boudrhan, (with guests on the bass, trumpet, djembe, and more) the group Rising Appalachia offers a fresh, raw approach to traditional music. Keith and Joan Pitzer and Andrew McKnight have also submitted songs for consideration for the CD. They were featured on the Moving Mountains CD.

As with the Moving Mountains CD, the profits from this compilation will be donated back into the community in the form of direct grants. The proceeds from the Moving Mountains CD gave about $7,000 to coal field community members and non-profit organizations working to stop mountaintop removal coal mining.

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