The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra is just one piece of the spectacle that will take place Saturday night at sundown at the Seabrook Boat Launch on Lake Pontrchartrain.

new water music art

(This is the first story for My Spilt Milk from new contributor Kate O'Brien) This Saturday, April 8, The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will literally perform upon the waters of Lake Pontchartrain at the Seabrook Boat Launch. The LPO will play an original work by Yotam Haber titled “New Water Music,” and for the occasion it has partnered with New Orleans Airlift to create a lively and celebratory event that brings attention to the somber and critical coastal erosion issues affecting the Louisiana coastline. The show is free.

Haber is a contemporary composer currently living in New Orleans, and he has taken inspiration for his new piece from Handel’s famous “Water Music,” which was initially performed on London’s River Thames some 300 years ago.  Haber considered Handel’s piece a “departure point” for his own, which explores “the idea of music as a procession because New Orleans is such a processional city,” he says. The musicians will be on stationary barges to subtly mimic New Orleans’ jazz funeral tradition. Haber felt that an extravagant concert on water following the serious recession of the coastline is similar to the way a jubilant second line follows a somber funeral.

new water music map

New Orleans Airlift is the non-profit arts collective behind The Music Box, “The Public Practice,” and a number of art events that similarly take music and art into unusual, public spaces. Artistic director Delaney Martin has worked to coordinate a large number of moving pieces in making this event possible. Fishing boats have been arranged and choreographed to work together with more than 100 community musicians including a high school marching band.

Martin was inspired by the communities affected by coastal erosion. “This event is an opportunity to both raise awareness and build togetherness among all of the people whose lives this issue affects,” she says.

The evening will also offer Louisianans food, drink, decor, and dancing. The event will start at 4 p.m. and the music will begin at sunset. Lawn chairs and blankets are advised, and you’re asked to bring water from a body of water near you or your tap to participate in a Native American ritual.