PM: Your latest work, One Sun, One Shadow, is now being released as a book. How did you get commissioned by the High Museum of Art to make a project about the South, and why did you choose music as your point of entry?
SL: The High Museum of Art’s “Picturing the South” series is an incredible initiative that they have been doing for a number of years now. Past artists that have been commissioned include Sally Mann, Emmet Gowin, Richard Misrach, and Alec Soth, amongst others. I was completely honored to be invited to be a part of the project, especially as a young artist who admired many of the others that had participated in it already. It was a bit intimidating of course, but an incredibly exciting opportunity for me to pursue a project in a way that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to. Being from Vermont, and having only lived in the Northeast, I didn’t have a personal relationship with the South, but rather an idea of it that was influenced by things like films, the history of photography, and music. I think Julian Cox, who was at the High at the time, was interested in this perspective as a compliment to some of the artists they had worked with who were native Southerners. I chose music as an entry-point for a few reasons. At the time I was getting really interested in old time, blues, and gospel songs, and the stories they told about life, labor, religion, race, love, death, etc. I was really starting to see music as an oral history. I thought it would be interesting to embark on a project that explored the themes of traditional songs through the contemporary landscape of the South. I was also interested in the notion that our understanding of a place can be informed by sound, and that music is very much a reflection of the place where it is made.