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2013 El Reno Tornado Remembered In New Oklahoma Multimedia Project

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Christian Kelly Large
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KOSU's John Cooper talked with musician Brian Haas and business owner Chris Large about their project.

Oklahoma’s 2018 tornado season has been fairly quiet when compared to years past, especially in 2013, when multiple large twisters permanently altered lives and landscapes during the month of May in the central part of our state

One of those storms, the gigantic El Reno tornado on May 31, 2013, was the widest ever recorded—2.6 miles—and its unpredictability stunned even the experts, claiming the lives of four seasoned storm chasers, as well as 17 others.

In remembrance of those lost, video of the El Reno tornado has been compiled and set to an original music score, and will premiere in Tulsa this Saturday.

Tulsa business owner Chris Large and musician Brian Haas are behind the project. Haas says it draws its creative direction from the epic Old English poem Beowulf.

"Every spring, these small towns are scared for their lives. They don't know when it's going to happen, but they know the monster Grendel is going to roll through and kill a bunch of people. That's where the allegory really came from was these small Oklahoma towns sort of existing in a state of fear and uncertainty, wondering what's going to happen every year."

An Oklahoma Tornado Story: Beowulf on Radio Road premieres Saturday night at 8 p.m. at Circle Cinema in Tulsa. More information is available at circlecinema.com.

John Cooper was part of KOSU's staff from April 2015 to May 2019. He was born and raised in Oklahoma City and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Oklahoma State University.
Kelly Burley served as KOSU Director from September 2007 to May 2019. In 2007, Burley returned to public radio after more than four years as Associate State Director for AARP Oklahoma. Burley first joined KOSU in 1990, first as a reporter, then news director and eventually program director. During that time, he won three Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association, the National Journalism Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation, and two national awards from Public Radio News Directors, Inc. Kelly lives in Stillwater with his wife, Lisa. He has two grown children, Clint and Kara.
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