Out & About Magazine -- September 2013

Page 51


The Travel Songs Project Six guys from Delaware embrace adventure as they travel to Peru to document culture and music By Krista Connor


he annual celebration of the Virgen del Carmen had arrived in Paucartambo, an otherwise forgotten village in the Peruvian highlands. The festival, held in honor of this patron saint, inspired music, dancing and the wearing of colorful masks. Haystacks turned to bonfires, and a ceremonial stench of burning chili peppers and smoke made celebrants’ eyes water. Amid the tumult, six guys from Delaware in their 20s caught the festival experience on film and audio tape. They recorded interviews and captured aspects of Peruvian life as part of a 15-day trip to the South American country to document the concept of bridging cultures through music. For much of the trip, they interacted in Spanish and hired translators when communicating with another group, the Q’ueros people. The six were conducting the Travel Songs Project, named after the Newark-based indie pop band Travel Songs. The four members of the band are Zachary Humenik, Sam

Nobles, Tyler Doherty and Tyler Holloway. They were joined in the project by production crew members George Murphy of Planet Ten Multimedia (located in Bear), and Colin Shalo of NBC Miami, who is originally from Delaware. (In our May issue, O&A talked pre-trip plans with Humenik. Check it out at outandaboutnow.com.) “The project is not about us, it’s about preservation, it’s about documentation,” says Humenik, the project executive director and 2009 anthropology graduate of the University of Delaware. “We try to keep the band and the project separate but equal; they tie into each other, but they’re not necessarily the same thing.” O&A met with the group of mostly UD grads in midsummer, a few days after they returned from their trip, to hear about the Virgen del Carmen, the struggles of many Peruvians to maintain tradition while embracing modernity, and to learn why the group arrived in Cusco with only twoPhotos: Joe del Tufo thirds of its crew. ► SEPTEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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