Created by singer and composer Cecelia “Cece” Otto, An American Songline is an ongoing project dedicated to preserving and sharing the story of America through unique, experiential musical performances — some have called it “Hamilton in reverse.” American Songline performances entertain, educate and delight thanks to Cece’s unique ability to engage modern audiences with the songs and stories of a simpler time.
What Does “American Songline” mean?
When Indigenous Australians go on walkabout, they follow trails established over the generations by their ancestors. As they follow these trails, they sing to their ancestors and, it is believed, summon them back into existence. These trails are called songlines. Reading about this practice in Bruce Chatwin’s 1987 book The Songlines, Cece Otto was inspired to try to sing her own American ancestors back to life. An American Songline looks back to a time before television and computers, when Americans largely entertained themselves and when popular songs played a vital part in communicating their longings, hopes and dreams.