Columbus based musician and composer Brian Harnetty will bring his unique “Shawnee, OH (2016)” production to his hometown of Shawnee, OH. (

Unique Multimedia Performance Headed to Shawnee

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Columbus composer and musician Brian Harnetty is returning to the hometown of his Great Grandfather Mordecai Williams on Saturday evening, Oct. 29. Traveling with a seven-piece ensemble and appropriate technology in tow, Harnetty will share a unique multi-media creation titled Shawnee, Ohio (2016) in the Commons at the Tecumseh Theater, the historic opera house building where Mordecai once played basketball and performed musically.

Shawnee, Ohio (2016) will not only explore the boom-to-bust mining community of Shawnee, but also the provocative story of the surrounding Little Cities of Black Diamonds microregion that prospered around coal mining and brick making a century ago. Today, the economically struggling town and region is engaged in significant grass roots efforts to reinvent itself around its rich history, boom town architecture and returning forest, all the while dealing with the environmental legacy of multiple extraction industries past and present.

Harnetty’s multi-media presentation will layer field recordings, music, images and sounds structured around 11 chapters that serve as portraits of the region’s residents living and deceased. The work will critically engage ecology, energy, place, and personal history as it explores the sounds associated with each. Projected images and a diverse band will evoke the mood of the evening. Band members include Columbus-based cellist Jane Van Voorhis; Anna Roberts-Gevalt of Anna & Elizabeth on banjo and violin; and Jeremy Woodruff on sax and flute.

Harnetty befriended Shawnee in 2010 while working on his doctorate in Fine Arts at Ohio University, immersing himself in the study and relevance of sound. He assisted with development of audio recordings that shared the region’s history and natural environment and has studied the region’s story ever since, with ancestral roots in nearby Junction City as well. His performance is sandwiched between Shawnee, Ohio 2016’s premier on Oct. 27 and 28 at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus and a fourth performance at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati on Nov. 4.


A pre-concert pot luck supper will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. where ticketed attendees can meet Harnetty and the orchestra he has assembled for this event.  Participants should bring a dish or dessert to share and their own zero-waste table settings. Tickets for the Saturday, Oct. 29 event at the Tecumseh Commons are available for $10 per person in advance by visiting or can be purchased from Hannah Furniture in Shawnee, Newlon Tire and Dodson’s on Broadway in New Lexington, Insea Sound Shop in Nelsonville, A New View in Corning, and Haffa’s Records in Athens.

Tickets are $15 at the door. Seating is limited and advanced tickets are highly recommended. All tickets purchased online will be available via will-call at the door the night of the event. No tickets will be mailed in advance. Complimentary legal beverages and snacks will be available with contributions welcomed. The Tecumseh Commons/Tecumseh Theater is located at 114 West Main Street, Shawnee, Ohio 43782. Shawnee is located 65 miles southeast of Columbus and 25 miles north of Athens at the intersection of State Routes 93 and 155 in the heart of the Wayne National Forest in southern Perry County.

Proceeds from the concert benefit the on-going maintenance and restoration of the treasured Tecumseh Theater landmark building in Historic Shawnee.  Shawnee, Ohio is co-commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University with support from Duke Performances at Duke University and the Contemporary Arts Center (Cincinnati). Shawnee, Ohio 2016 is a project of Creative Capital. It will be released on Dust-to-Digital Records in April of 2017.