#MyTexasRiver is a movement that encourages individuals to share their water stories and highlights the importance of water conservation. It points out the divine impact of Texas waters through the eyes of multiple people, personalities, and lifestyles. As you follow the #MyTexasRiver blog series, we at Texas Living Waters Project encourage you to share your pictures and water stories on Instagram, using #MyTexasRiver.
In this interview, we have the privilege to ask Dana Falconberry to share her #MyTexasRiver story. Dana is a songwriter, musician, and artist based in Austin, Texas. In 2008, Dana and her band released their first album, Oh Skies of Grey. Since then, she has released three additional albums, Halletts (2010), Leelanau (2012), and From the Forest Came the Fire (2016). Dana has performed locally at music festivals such as Austin City Limits and SXSW, as well as several countries across the world while on tour. Here, she expresses the inspiration she finds through rivers and nature and their lasting impact on her songwriting and art creation.
Texas Living Waters (TLW): Please introduce yourself.
Dana Falconberry (DF): My name is Dana Falconberry. I am a musician, a chainstitcher, and a blockprinter.
TLW: Why is water conservation important to you?
DF: Water conservation is important to me because water is life, and without clean water, we cannot exist.
TLW: How does water, and the environment in general, inspire your work?
DF: I am extremely inspired by water in all of the different forms of art that I make. I find it inspiring. When it comes to difficult situations, I’ve always looked to rivers and different waterways. I think that if we as people act like water (or try to act like water) we can kind of get through anything. That sounds really cheesy. I like to watch the way that water moves, and it inspires me to be a better person. That also sounds crazy, but it’s true.
TLW: Can you give me some background on your song Silver River?
DF: I wrote Silver River when I was in New Mexico. I do a lot of writing in the area of Ruidoso, New Mexico. I was staying in a place that had a little creek running through it. There was a window where I was writing, so I was looking at the creek as I was writing my song. It was a time when there was a lot of political upheaval going on and rivers were kind of in focus. I was just thinking about the importance of rivers and how people have lived off of rivers forever—and now that’s impossible for some people, and that’s devastating. I started thinking about the river as a character in all of this. Well, what does the river think about all of this? We are making this crazy world around all these rivers, and the river is still flowing, but they’re all endangered. So, I just tried to envision the river as a character in the song.
TLW: Can you tell me more about the Fort Lonesome brand?
DF: I work for a company called Fort Lonesome, which is a chain stitching company based here in Austin. It’s run by a woman named Kathy Sever. We do some traditional, and some very not-traditional, chain stitching embroidery. So, we do some Country Western stuff and also art shows. We try to use embroidery in many different forms. We do a lot of custom jackets, some cool political wall hangings, and all sorts of different stuff.
TLW: How do you get your design ideas?
DF: A lot of the design ideas that I have come from the traveling that I’ve done. I am really into hiking and have been very fortunate to be able to go to a lot of different areas of the world to hike. So, usually when I’m out in the world seeing beautiful things I am thinking about like what colors I would use to try to recreate that landscape. Most of my inspiration for chainstitching, blockprinting, and songwriting all come from the natural world and those places that I kind of venture out into.
TLW: Do you have a favorite river-spot? If so, where?
DF: Currently, my favorite river-spot is in Martindale. It’s just this really beautiful spot on the river that is down through a public park. The river is gorgeous there and it’s flowing and it gets kind of deep (but not too deep). I can take my dogs swimming there. They love it, and then they get really tired.
TLW: Any last statements?
DF: I think that rivers are so essential to us. They give us food, they give us water, they give us inspiration, and they give us entertainment too. I think we need to think about that a lot as a culture and really protect what we have.