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Culture Lab - Can Art and Collaboration Help Rebuid a City? - In Cahoots – A Mashup and Collaboration between My Brightest Diamond and Migguel Anggelo

By BritChic in Detroit

On Saturday night Culture Labs last event for 2014 was held at Trinosophes in Eastern Market, a huge space, coffee shop and music venue.  The barristers served a host of soft drink cocktails and coffee and the large crowd gathered in their seats and standing room only, to listen to My Brightest Diamond and Migguel Anggelo.

Shara Worden, My Brightest Diamond originally from New York but now a Detroit transplant, was classical trained but highly influenced by rock and grew up listening to the songs of Motown.  She is a singer songwriter and plays multiple instruments and formed My Brightest Diamond as a project and has ended up making 3 studio albums.

My Brightest Diamond and Detroit Party Marching Band

I interviewed Shara and asked about her thoughts on Detroit and collaboration.

Shara’s view on the restoration of Detroit was that everyone could be a part of the creative process and that it was very dependent on the lines of communication between all parties.

I think it is crucial to talk about the prejudice and racial inequality that still so much exists here and everywhere, and that is something that is hard for people to talk about and hard to face, but it is necessary and also needs to be a part of any conversation, how to heal, how to lift up, how to facilitate, how to bring everyone to a more equal footing”.  

As far as collaboration goes with outside designers Shara believes that “art is categorically of benefit to human existence.  Period.  Wherever it happens.  The motivation is important, but ultimately the art can even supersede the creators motivations or intentions.  I can't defend or truly know anyone's motives, but bottom line, I think what is of value is that creation happens.  Art is energy put into creation, to making things, to building and questioning and challenging and bringing joy and love and tears and putting all of those ideas and emotions into a form or an experience."

Shara Worden - My Brightest Diamond

Shara Worden - My Brightest Diamond

The second artist in the mash up was Migguel Anggelo a singer, dancer, actor and all round creative individual from Venezuela, who also came from a classically trained background but was strongly influenced by the rock artist Freddie Mercury.   He also had some interesting things to say about reviving the city of Detroit through artistic collaboration. 

“Everything is possible in life.  I am from Venezuela where my country is experiencing one hardship after another led by dictators.   Detroit could be an example of the American dream.  If the people of Detroit pull together and work really hard as a united front, they can restore Detroit to one of the most important cities of culture and innovation in America.  That can happen here”.
 “Artistic collaborations inspire growth and rejuvenation.  I am thrilled to be part of the creative energy that is Detroit, and in my tiny way, hope that our artistic “conversation” contributes to Detroit’s world class culture”.

So both these positive individuals have definitely joined the ranks of growing artists that believe that collaboration and art can come together to make Detroit a better place.

Migguel Anggelo

They showed off their artistic talents in the show that followed.

Shara appearing in a band leaders’ outfit and performed the first number which was both bold and dramatic and included the percussion talents of the Detroit Party Marching band and a brass section complete with a piccolo.

Shara moved effortlessly between instruments and her vocals are both beautiful and haunting.  At times she seems possessed as she erratically moves around the stage. You wonder what she will do next.

The collaboration came in the form of two duets with Migguel Anggelo; The Very Thought of You, performed very theatrically and ending with the two waltzing together and the Motown Classic, You’re All I Need to Get By.

Migguel performed a few solo numbers in Spanish and showed off his talents in acting, singing and dancing.

For me though the show was all about My Brightest Diamond.  Shara is mesmerizing and captivating as she creatively takes you through her songs.

The song that stood out the most was High Low Middle which she has written about Detroit and the inequalities that exist.  For me, the lyrics summed up the whole 3 Day Celebration Event.  Can Art and Collaboration help rebuild a city?  If the “High” and the “Low” can talk to each other and collaborate through art and other creative pursuits then it is possible that they can meet somewhere in the “Middle” and make Detroit a great place to live work and grow.

My Brightest Diamond