By Tim Leeds
A Montana artist with a presentation technique that combines two of his loves is putting on the second Heritage Center event slated for Wednesday.
David Walburn of Whitefish will perform his third multi-media show, "Montana Life Under the Big Sky," at 7:30 p.m. in the Montana State University-Northern Student Union Building ballroom.
The first event Wednesday is a talk by Great Falls author Peter Fromm at a celebrity luncheon at noon in the Heritage Center.
One song from Walburn's show, which is a combination of music, narration and photographs projected by digital equipment, was featured on a recent cable TV program. "Going to the Sun" was used in a special segment on "National Geographic Today" on the National Geographic Channel.
The Lewis and Clark National Bicentennial Council adopted the soundtrack from an earlier show, "Lewis and Clark: West for America," as part of their official Traveler's Collection series.
Walburn, who graduated with a fine arts degree in photography from the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., worked as a photojournalist for the paper in his hometown of Marietta, Ga., until he decided to take a different career road.
He and three friends drove more than 4,000 miles to Alaska, which resulted in a homestead and Walburn's first multimedia production. As Walburn and his three friends built a cabin using only hand tools, he documented the entire summer in his songs and photography.
Walburn used the material to create the multimedia production "Cabin Song."
After moving to Montana from Alaska, Walburn recorded his first independent album, "Chasin' Moons." The collection of contemporary folk music received positive reviews from local critics, and Walburn began touring.
In an attempt to create a unique musical niche, Walburn began working on "West for America" after watching a documentary about Lewis and Clark. He used historic imagery, scenic photography and 11 original songs to create his second musical documentary.
The release of the soundtrack, coming just four years before the anniversary of the journey of Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery, has kept Walburn busy with performances. Glacier National Park contracted with him to perform during summers at the historic Many Glacier Hotel, and he has received sponsorships to perform at educational assemblies and Lewis and Clark bicentennial events across the country.
While working on a new musical project for the summer of 2003, Walburn continues to perform at Glacier Park and tours during the winter.
The concert, sponsored by C.A.T. Transport of Havre, costs $7.50 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets will be available at the door. Northern students with a validated ID are admitted for free.
Proceeds will benefit the Heritage Center.