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American Spirit: A launching point for collaboration and conversation (video)

American Spirit
Now is a good time to contribute positive statements such as "American Spirit is....(fill in the blank)". This is not necessarily an expression of a political viewpoint. It's a positive expression of what it stands for to us to be American; A celebration of what unites us as Americans.

American Spirit is an ongoing project which I hope will spark collaboration and conversation.

The goal is to inspire you articulate, define, or express “American Spirit” on your terms, e.g.,  “American Spirit is (fill in the blank)”

Fill in the blank. Leave a comment below, write it in your diary, make art, or express it however you want….

Thanks to video artist Tamrin Ingram for filling in the blank by interpreting and engaging with the performance on these recordings:

(new) “America”-  composed by Leonard Bernstein, arranged by Tamir Hendelman


America- notes from the artist Tamrin Ingram

“With this piece I was primarily focused on the youthfulness of our country. Both in spirit and in actual age America is quite young, and although hard work and continuous progression is a very American theme, the desire to have a good time is definitely prevalent in our society. Drawing from vintage stock footage from the 1930s through the 80’s I collaged together clips that were high in energy, including the youth of our past having fun, dancing, swimming, driving fast cars and riding bikes in the streets. I encapsulated this fun-loving and youthful energy while also showing off some of the diverse American landscape”.


American Spirit- Composed and arranged by Christian Howes

Artist Statement by Tamrin Ingram:
“America is a diverse country with a drive to continuously move forward, and these are the qualities I chose to showcase in this piece. While always making advancements in technology, music, science, and so much more, America is also filled to the brim with different cultures, different ways of doing things and different ways of seeing things. I chose to celebrate a few of the different cultures we have in America. From traditional Japanese dance to Native American PowWows to New Orleans parade marchers, I only touched on a few of the many.
Using the medium of collage and overlays is a fun process that allows the individual to create their own story. Each viewer sees each layer in a different way, some focusing on the layers above and some focusing on the layers below, but each individual walking away with an entirely different experience..”

Josh Nelson, piano

Ben Williams, bass

Gregory Hutchinson, drums

Thanks to Resonance Records


This collaboration is part of a collection of projects within a larger initiative also entitled American Spirit.
American Spirit is a thematic launching point for collaborations and conversations. The initiative aims to inspire and facilitate positive artistic expressions which articulate and celebrate American Spirit.
The question, “What does American Spirit mean to you?”, can lead us to consider what we have in common and engage in healthy discourse.
This project is supported by Creative Strings. Creative Strings is a non-profit cultural organization with a mission to support and transform music education through outreach, summer conference, and online curriculum.



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