Turns Out Banjos & Mandolins Aren't Very Common in Rural Chile

In the spring of 2017, Natalie Spears and Ellie Barber of Carbondale-based Americana band Pearl & Wood traveled to Chile with a banjo and mandolin in tow. Their month-long trip was inspired by a desire to meet other musicians abroad while traveling with an open-ended agenda. They quickly discovered the rarity of their instruments in Chile, which led to quick introductions with people of all types – they exchanged music with a Chilean accordion player, classical guitarists, and Valparaiso street musicians, to name a few.

As both Natalie and Ellie are equal parts musicians and adventurers, they divided their time between musical endeavors and exploring the dramatic natural landscapes of Patagonia. The travelers hitchhiked, backpacked, and paddled through the area, in awe of the seemingly endless glaciers and turquoise freshwater lakes. They based their belongings with a friend in a small rural village nearby the future Patagonia National Park, which provided an interesting perspective on rural development and environmental conservation. The travelers, both with backgrounds in environmental education, also explored this theme throughout their trip. 

Tea, donated by Two Leaves and a Bud Tea Company, beer, donated by Aspen Brewing Company, and Paradise Bakery cookies will be offered during lecture.