Cécile McLorin Salvant is a jazz singer whose lineage can clearly be traced back to the old masters – Lady Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan – yet she is not merely an imitator; she is further developing their form. At the young age of 25, she certainly has her own style. She not only digs into the emotion of what she sings with her voice, but also uses her expressive face and hand gestures to get to the very heart of the music.
Last September, the husband-and-wife team of Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer played something of an oddball doubleheader at Bard College’s Fisher Center in Annandale-On-Hudson. (Would you expect anything less from them?) Read reviews here and here.
The evening started out with a reading of a new, as-yet-unpublished story by award-winning author Gaiman in the Sosnoff Theater, and then as a separate event, Palmer and her band the Grand Theft Orchestra whipped up a pre-tour concert in support of her upcoming album Theatre Is Evil in the center’s black box Theater Two.
At the time, they promised to return. And now they are…
This time, however, they’ll be sharing the same stage at the Sosnoff Theater at 8pm on Saturday, April 6. They’re describing the performance as “an intimate night of spoken word, songs, stories, chats with the audience and more than a few surprises.”
Priced at $25, $30, $35 & $40, tickets are scheduled to go on sale at 10am today (Monday, January 14).
“This evening has been gloriously odd,” remarked author Neil Gaiman toward the end of his 75-minute reading at Bard College’s Fisher Center in Annandale-On-Hudson earlier this month.
The renowned sci-fi/fantasy writer found himself temporarily living in the Hudson Valley recently, while his wife, provocative rocker Amanda Palmer, was in residency at Bard College developing video and the stage show for the tour in support of her new album, “Theatre Is Evil.” So, he apparently decided that it was the perfect time and place for an out-of-town try-out for a new short story that he had finished just five or six days earlier.
“It’s a fairy story,” he explained. “It’s the first time I’ve done a big sort-of fairy-story reinvention probably since I wrote a story called ‘Snow, Glass, Apples’ a while ago (1994). I wrote the story, and I thought, ‘Good. That’s my story written in first draft. I wonder if it works?’ And I realized that I had absolutely no idea.”
It was a surprisingly intimate concert in the Fisher Center’s small black box Theater Two. A standing-room-only (no seats) performance that resonated with the memories of almost any college gymnasium concert – fans sitting on the floor, listening to the vintage Leonard Cohen soundtrack that played between bands.
Intimate, yes, indeed, but no less fierce than you’ve come to expect from the always bold and brazen Amanda Fucking Palmer.
Wrapping up her three-week residency – the first participant in the Live Arts Bard program at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson – she was simply breathtaking in performance on the first of her two-night stand with her primo three-piece backing band, the Grand Theft Orchestra.
Imagine you are trying to recount your day using just 12 rectangles of eight colors in a strict configuration on four metal panels, then doing it again with the same layout but using only three colors – and you might understand the last years of Blinky Palermo, the pseudonymous German painter who died mysteriously in 1977 at the age of 33, and whose short, intense life’s work is the subject of a retrospective at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson and at Dia:Beacon.
Part minimalist, part color-field abstractionist, part performance artist, Palermo got his nom d’artiste while studying with Joseph Beuys, and he took plenty of Beuys’s style with him, too – but the clear influences of a wide swath of artists form a snaking modern line: Malevich, Mondrian, Yves Klein, Mark Rothko, Sol LeWitt, Ellsworth Kelly, and Gerhard Richter all come easily to mind – and, still, Palermo shines through as unique, personal, even soulful in these two meticulously researched and installed exhibitions that really form one strong solo show.
The basic premise is that Palermo has been wrongly overlooked, and that the recognition provided by this event is overdue, specifically in the United States, where he worked for much of his brief time, and where he apparently felt insufficiently appreciated (while being quite successful in Europe as a whole and Germany in particular). While I would not presume to be able to judge the importance of a long-dead artist of the ’60s and ’70s in relation to others of his time, whether living or dead, I will say this: I loved the shows, and have no doubt that Palermo was the real thing.
Sunday at Bard College in Annandale on Hudson, you can catch an adventurous and intriguing afternoon of music as the Bard Conservatory of Music and Fisher Center continues its Conservatory Sundays series with the So Percussion ensemble performing a program of contemporary music.
As part of a weekend-long celebration of the life and work of John Cage, students and faculty of The Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Music Program at Bard College are performing a concert of Cage’s chamber works, including:
Inlets (Improvisation II) for four conch shells and the sound of burning pinecones (1977)
Five Dances for String Quartet (arr. Salzman) (1996-97)
Six Melodies for Violin and Keyboard (1950)
Three Songs for Voice and Piano (text by Gertrude Stein) (1933)
The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs (1942)
A Flower (1950)
Nowth Upon Nacht (1984)
Radio Music (1956)
String Quartet in Four Parts (1950)
Eight Whiskus for solo violin (1985)
Nocturne for violin and piano (1947)
The Beatles 1962–1970 (1990)
WHAT: John Cage at Bard College: Chamber Music
WHEN: Friday, October 30, 2009, 7pm
WHERE: Fisher Center, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson
Free and open to the public
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