For two decades, the Savannah Earth Day Festival has been an important way for the community to support each other and our home planet.
Now, help give back to the festival that does so much for our community—and our earth—at Earth Rise Savannah.
The event, taking place Saturday at the Clyde Venue, is a fundraising event for the festival as well as an immersive musical experience.
“We wanted to do a fundraising event to raise the awareness of Earth Day,” says organizer Joanne Morton. “I want to encourage the people of Savannah, the community to come out and show their support.”
The community is surely in for a treat, because this event is quite unlike any other.
“I think the event is going to be really special because of the people who are part of it,” says Morton.
Morton teamed up with multidisciplinary artist AJ Perez to plan a truly unique experience.
Perez, Matthew Duplessie and Frank Unger have collaborated to create Human Origins, a creative musical and visual experience.
The experiment began with a jam session of sorts between the three artists. Duplessie and Unger each have a background in visual effects, so after a few sessions, they decided to take it to the next level with a full experience.
“Human Origins is meant to break the barrier between the viewer and the performer,” says Perez, “to create this environment that allows for co-creation and engaging with the audience so the audience becomes a part of the entertainment, in a way.”
Morton had attended a few Human Origins performances and was inspired by the artists, so she asked Perez to take charge of organizing entertainment at the event.
“We started reaching out to a few friends and other artists to come co-create with us and inviting people to just come hang out, come dance, come join in the fun and maybe grab a drum or some shakers,” says Perez.
At Earth Rise, Human Origins will be performing their whole show to a crowd that’s standing room only by design.
“There will be some chairs, but we really want the audience to be standing, listening to the performers,” says Morton.
“The way we’re setting up the space is going to be very inclusive in that sense,” says Perez. “Some of the seating will be integrated into the stages so the audience can get up close and personal with some of the performers.”
In addition to Human Origins, performers include poet Love Shamar, storyteller Patt Gunn with the Saltwata Players, musicians Lynn and Jimmy Wolling, storyteller Chase Anderson, and DJ Jose Ray.
“We did a little brainstorm of who we’d want to work with for this particular event,” says Perez.
The performance schedule is unique in that it’ll flow seamlessly from one performer to the next. Perez says there will be a few small announcements through the experience, but otherwise, they’ll flow into each other.
“We’ve been exploring that language with our gatherings previously,” says Perez. “What can we do that shifts how we experience live music? Then to create a structure in that way where there’s a seamless musical journey from beginning to end without having that harsh break of a host stepping in.”
The seamless flow of the event is intended to emphasize our collective unity.
“It takes us all working together to make things work,” says Perez. “If we want to see something different, if we want change in life, with everything going on right now politically and socially and environmentally, I think that it helps by doing things a little differently, even in this sense.”
“In order for us to make change, we have to be active, and this is an experimental way to project the activist in what we can do in our everyday lives,” says Morton. “It represents, by being active in a performance, how easy it is to be active in our everyday world, whether it’s picking up trash or donating to a nonprofit that’s protecting the coastline or not using certain products because they destroy the rainforest. These are all little actions we can do. The reason why we do what we do to protect the planet is because we love the planet.”