Cuyahoga Community College

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Project Gilgamesh

Tri-C Presents, Creative Arts, Cuyahoga Community College

Project Summary

At the center of Project Gilgamesh was a visiting artist, violinist and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), who performed two public concerts during the span of the grant and was contracted for 30 residency days in Cleveland. DBR composed the music for a songbook of 14 songs that represented a contemporary response to the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh. Laura Kendall, Tri-C’s Director of Arts Programming, served as Project Director. The initiative proceeded on two tracks—academic and creative.

On the academic track, about 25 Tri-C faculty members incorporated the Epic into their classes over the course of three semesters (Spring 2011-Spring 2012). Tri-C faculty members and the education departments of Great Lakes Theater and the Cleveland Museum of Art developed resource materials for teaching the Epic, and DBR, Tri-C faculty, GLT and CMA staff members, and selected Cleveland-based artists were also booked into classrooms as guest artists and lecturers.

On the creative track, Project Manager Margaret Lynch wrote prose reflections about the Epic and student experiences that resonated with the same themes, and DBR used these reflections as the basis for creating 14 songs—a songbook entitled “Gilgamesh on the Crooked River.” Tri-C Music Department faculty member Kira Seaton recruited singers and musicians from among Tri-C students, staff, faculty, and recent graduates to record the songs with DBR at the college’s state-of-the-art recording facilities. The project also involved Tri-C students, staff, and recent graduates as recording technicians, photographers, graphic designers, and video and production crew members. The recordings were shared online, and members of the Tri-C and broader communities were invited to share their own creative interpretations and responses to the songs in two showcase events, in November 2011 and April 2012.

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