Abe Lincoln is getting a lot of press attention today, with it being his 200th birthday, had he not been killed. Dude must have a great publicist. He may even get more play than Christian Bale's on-set meltdown/verbal barrage. —-I literally just heard conservative (actually, he's more "martian" than "conservative") blowhard Bill Hussein Cunningham correct someone on-air who said Lincoln was our greatest president. BIll says it was Ronald Reagan. Classic! I still think Bill's the funniest man on radio; his "outrageous claims" are purely for shock value.
Anyway, if you want to listen to something a little more uplifting than that, check out some music over at 21stcenturyabe.org. The site — headed up by Cincinnati native Bryce Dessner of The National — features music from a variety of artists, all taking inspiration from Lincoln's legacy. The music is fairly avant garde and the mix of "found sound" from the era into the pieces is pretty haunting and provocative. Check out Bryce's page, which includes "The Lincoln Shuffle" and other musical meditations.And there is plenty of other Lincoln—inspired art from a variety of different artists and mediums.
The best part of this project is the "open source" approach — musicians and mixers are encouraged to download the music and use it to make further art and post. It's a cool kind of "pay it forward" gesture that furthers Lincoln's ideals and accomplisments in a free and creative way.
Grab some source material in the "Found Abe" section and make an artistic statement for Abe. And keep checking the site — new projects are going to be unveiled gradually.
Image by Kathy Haas.