Rise from the ashes, walking to the forest

Sometimes, all we need is only a reminder, or maybe a bird’s perspective, to see the beauty of Mother Earth. And what could be more delicate than listening to heavenly voices while watching the magical language of nature through colors and a variety of arts? At least that’s what I think when I hear the sisters, Leah and Chloe Smith, sing, and I watch their video “Pulse.”

Rising Appalachia is a band that I discovered some years back.

“Leah and Chloe grew up in urban Atlanta as the city’s hip hop scene began to flourish. They absorbed those rhythms through the music they heard at school, then traveled with their family to fiddle camps all across the Southeast on the weekends. The young girls weren’t all interested in the old-time playing, but their parents were incredibly devout in their study and practice of Appalachian music. After high school, Leah decided to postpone college and travel internationally. Feeling homesick while living in Southern Mexico, she looked for a connection to her past and taught herself how to play the banjo. “I realized that I wanted something from home that I could share, something that would tell people a bit more of the story of where I came from, other than the news,” she recalls.

A few years later, when Chloe came to visit her abroad, Leah offered some clawhammer banjo lessons. They didn’t necessarily realize it at the time and had established a musical partnership. Upon their return to the United States, they recorded an album, which they considered an art project, to sell whenever they sang at farmer’s markets. They printed 500 copies, figuring that would last them a lifetime. However, when a local college professor heard them singing at a Christmas party, he booked them as part of a Celtic holiday concert in Atlanta. After two performances, they had sold every single CD,” as they write on their homepage.  I hope you enjoy their music as much as I do.

And by the way, if you have not heard about Appalachian music, it is the music of Appalachia’s region in the Eastern United States. It derives from various European and African influences, including English
ballads, Irish and Scottish traditional music (especially fiddle music), hymns, and Afro- American blues.

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