New music echoes the vitality of downtown Saint Paul

Welcome to the 6th season of Landmark to Lowertown: weekday performances of new music held in the beautiful public spaces of downtown Saint Paul! Continuing the tradition, this season’s composer/performers are past awardees of the Minnesota Emerging Composer Award (MECA). Each of these artists recently received funding to pursue a musical project that stretched them in new directions. These performances enable you to experience that creative outcome and hear new work developed over the past year. All events in this series are free and open to the public.

This season’s performances take place indoors & outdoors between April-June 2020, and feature winners of the 2017 MECA.

Holly Hansen

Constant Conversation: Sound Art as Communication

Holly Hansen will incorporate live sampling of room sounds and willing audience participants in this hour-long, partially improvised performance. Audience members are invited to be part of the Constant Conversation. You can have your voice recorded, bring a musical or percussion instrument to play, and/or explore the museum’s exhibits while the sounds swirl around you.

2017 Minnesota Emerging Composer award winner Holly Hansen is well known for her band Zoo Animal, and she is also a music-community organizer and sound engineer. Each week at the 331 Club she hosts the t.e.e. (Tuesday, Early Evening), a space for local musicians to experiment and share what they’re working on.

Queen Drea

From Black Wombs

Using poetry, electronica and movement, Queen Drea‘s continuing “From Black Wombs” series centers around the concept of the Black woman as God, the first earthly womb who brought forth the original man and continues to care for mankind in various forms. Featuring movement artists Ryan-Olivia McCoy and Jianna Reynolds.

2017 Minnesota Emerging Composer award winner Queen Drea is a vocalist, performance and soundscape artist whose pieces are often conceived under the auspices of improvisational settings, which is where she thrives the most. Queen Drea has created work for Intermedia Arts on depression in the black community, and at Red Eye Theater on the loss of black men’s lives in America, as well as commissioned work composing soundscapes for Ananya Dance Theater, Black Label  Movement and more recently sound design for Penubra Theater’s production of “For Colored Girls.” Photo by David Lee Glasgow, DLG Images

Ian Vaver

Stuartship Project

2017 Minnesota Emerging Composer award winner Ian Vaver leads the performance of his original composition for modern string ensemble, using the interplay between traditional and contemporary styles of acoustic music to explore and expand on our idea of stewardship and the interaction between people and nature. The music draws on influences from bluegrass, folk, americana, jazz, and classical music.

A multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and composer based in Minneapolis, Ian performs mostly acoustic folk and bluegrass music and is interested in the growing world of acoustic instrumental composition. After years of playing in Madison, WI with Honey Summer & Fall and The Naughty Bits, he released his second solo album “Re:incarnations” in 2017.

Season Partners


Saint Paul Cultural STAR


Lynn O'Brien
Lynn O’Brien
Jay Afrisando
Jay Afrisando
Zacc Harris
Zacc Harris


Lucas Melchior
Dameun Strange
Troy Rogers
Click to see 2018 L2L photos


Yohannes Tona
Jon Davis
Mike Hodnick (Kindohm)
Kevin Washington
Click to see 2017 L2L photos



Aby Wolf
Pete Hennig
Graham O’Brien
John Keston


Nona Marie Invie
J.T. Bates
Davu Seru
Orkestar Bez Ime