Changing Shades

An Immigrant's Story of Confusion & Belonging (Told in Image and Song)

Changing Shades: A New Multimedia Performance by Nick Carswell

Changing Shades is a new multimedia work developed by Lawrence-based Irish-born musician Nick Carswell (Carswell & Hope, Pink Royal). Debuting in May 2019 with performances in Kansas City and Lawrence, Kansas, Changing Shades features electronic elements, live looping, lighting and projection creating a visual accompaniment to new music that explores themes of migration, identity and belonging.

The project draws upon Carswell’s experience living as an immigrant in the United States over the past 8 years. Songs deal with his own sense of shifting cultural identity, as well as pieces inspired by stories of Native people in America, the Mediterranean migrant crisis, and the recent political and cultural strife at home and abroad.

“If you’re an immigrant who has been making music or art in the United States over the last while, it’s impossible to not have been affected by the cultural climate we are now in,” says Carswell. “As a white, English-speaking European, I’m usually not seen as an immigrant, although it is very much part of my identity here, more and more so. This project explores that dichotomy through both a new type of performance and the added visual component."

Carswell was awarded an ArtsKC Inspiration Grant towards the purchase of lighting and music production equipment for this project, which culminates with two performances on May 10th (Kansas City Irish Center) and May 11th (at Lawrence Arts Center), 2019.

Debut Performances May 2019

Kansas City Irish Center

Friday May 10th

19 Linwood Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64111

Show 7pm Tickets $10 - Buy tickets

With special guest from Amado Espinoza

Lawrence Arts Center

Saturday May 11th

940 New Hampshire St, Lawrence, KS 66044 (Black Box Theater)

Show 7pm Ticket $10

With special guest Maria Cuevas (Maria The Mexican)

Guest performers:

About Amado Espinoza

Amado Espinoza (Bolivia) is a unique performing artist and instrument maker that respects his folk traditions of the Andes Mountains, while creating compositions that are sincere to his musical-wanderlust personality.

While a specialist in the Bolivian Charango, he can be seen playing dozens of instruments with Ayllu, Colectivo Yanquitl, the Amado Espinoza Trio, or as a featured guest with Ensemble Iberica. Amado is a 2017 Charlotte Street Performing Arts Fellow and a past TEDxKC performer. He has made waves at the Folk Alliance International (Kansas City, MO), World Music Fest (Branson, MO), Bolivian Embassy celebration, (Washington, DC), just to name a few, and internationally (including Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia). He has clients for his custom-made intruments on three continents.

About Maria Cuevas

For Maria Elena Cuevas it’s not about her…then again, it is. The band is actually named for Maria and sister Teresa (Tess) Cuevas’ grandmother, Maria Teresa Alonzo Cuevas, a pioneer in Mariachi who in the 70s founded Mariachi Estrella, one of the first all-female Mariachi bands in the US.

Today Maria Cuevas is lead vocalist and guitarist playing acoustic, electric and traditional Mexican stringed instruments - a Mexicana/Americana/indie blues rock/funk/soul fusion - a true hybrid of Mexican folklore and rock ’n roll delivered in both English and Spanish. Founded by Maria, sister Tess (vocals and violin) and guitarist / songwriter D. Garrett Nordstrom (a veteran of the KC/Midwest club scene with 3 releases by the alt-R&B group The Garrett Nordstrom Situation) MTM is at work on a new release to follow up “Moon Colored Jade” (2013) and “South of the Border Moonlight” (2016).

More recent work by Nick Carswell

Echoes Through A Green Space

Public art installation at South Park in Lawrnce, KS. Part of the 2018 Free State Festival, funded in part by The City of Lawrence and Explore Lawrence.

Carswell & Hope

Alternative rock 5-piece playing “an intelligent mix of vintage rock and pop, with an experimental leaning” (Hot Press Magazine)

Songs From Ireland

The 3rd annual Songs From Ireland concert took place in Liberty Hall in Lawrence, KS. The show featured a selection of songs spanning decades and a variety of genres, showcasing a unique repertoire of traditional and modern Irish artists.

Read more

Interested in bringing this project to your community?

Carswell's full band project Carswell & Hope is a member of the Kansas Touring Roster and is eligible for a variety of grants to support artist fees within Kansas and the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) region. Supplementary programs, workshops and artists talks are included. We'd love to hear from you:
Visit Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission or M-AAA for more info on these grant opportunities.