It seems like when musicians in Lawrence really want to submerge their audiences in a delight for the eyes and ears, they head to the Arts Center.

That’s where Nick Carswell, of Carswell and Hope, will be unveiling his latest multimedia project: Changing Shades. The performance, debuting this Saturday, will feature electronic elements, live looping, lighting, and projections. The goal is to create a thrilling visual experience.

Being an Irish immigrant, a lot of Carswell’s music will explore themes of migration, identity, and belonging. Along with his own identity, he also explored stories from Native Americans, as well as victims of the recent immigration crisis (at home and abroad). So he’s calling upon a host of guest musicians to help. Amado Espinoza and Maria Cuevas (of Maria the Mexican) will join him on the stage.

“The ideas I’m really trying to touch on are about belonging and identity. These are really universal themes about how we all need to learn and practice more compassion and empathy,” says Carswell. “We are all dealing with finding our own identities these days, sometimes with great conflict, and we need to be better at finding the shared experience. So with a new way of making and presenting music with this project, these ideas really resonated.”

Here’s one of the songs he’ll be debuting for the event:

This isn’t Carswell’s first bout with thinking outside of the box, in terms of live performance. Over the Summer, he projected historical images out of the gazebo at South Park while providing live instrumentation. You can watch a video of that below (full disclosure: I Heart Local Music assisted with some of the images in that project):

Changing Shades kicks off this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the Lawrence Arts Center.



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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