Posts Tagged ‘MASS Moca’

Music at MASS MoCA: The Erudite, Dense & Clever Josh Ritter on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Josh Ritter

By Larry Murray

Moscow, Idaho-native singer and guitarist Josh Ritter has a literary disposition and an affinity for the old-guard likes of Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon that led The New York Times to place him “among the cream of the young singer-songwriter crop.” His songs are playfully erudite, equally dense with clever metaphor and whimsical turns of phrase. He’s at MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams on Saturday (November 22) at 8pm to try out new material for an unnamed forthcoming album.

“About six months ago I was hit by a song on the New York Thruway,” Ritter recently wrote. “The whole thing. Verses, bridge, a witty one-liner or two. Nothing like that had ever happened with such force. It was the first raindrop in a thunderstorm that I’m thankful continues unabated. I don’t normally go in for showing songs before they’re fully done, but what the hell, you only live once.”

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MASS MoCA Plans $55 Million Expansion to Double Size, Add Important New Works [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson

MASS MoCA to Become the Largest Contemporary Art Museum in the World

By Larry Murray

At a major press event with Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick and several of the artists who will be included in MASS MoCA’s Phase III development, the North Adams contemporary art museum revealed its plans to grow itself into the largest contemporary art museum in the United States. And in the world of all museums, MASS MoCA will become the second largest exhibition space in the country, after the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. [Source] Currently hosting 120,000 square feet of galleries, this project will add another 130,000 sf for a total of 250,000 sf of exhibition areas.

As word spread via both national newspapers and local blogs, it is time to let our readers in on the commotion, and why it is so important, both from the viewpoint of the arts community and that of the residents of North Adams.

Back in August, it was announced that the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) would be the recipient of $25.4 million in state money for expansion of their campus in North Adams. Called the Phase III development, the museum in turn would have to raise some $30 million in matching funds to access the grant. That match is now 45% complete, with $13.5 million in contributions and pledges already committed.

So just what does the planned $55 million dollar expansion include?

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Bourne Again: Tony Gilroy on the Art of Suspense – A WFF and MASS MoCA Special Event [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Tony Gilroy

The Williamstown Film Festival and MASS MoCA, which have collaborated on new films and film events for 15 years, welcome film director-screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Gilroy to MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center at 8pm on Friday (November 7) for an evening titled Tony Gilroy: The Art of Suspense.

Ever wonder how filmmakers keep the audience biting their nails and on the edge of their seats until the final frame’s big reveal? Special guest and film veteran Tony Gilroy pulls back the curtain on the art of suspense in this original presentation. Gilroy talks about the colorful history of suspense on the screen, illustrating the discussion with clips from his own work (including “The Bourne Legacy” and “Michael Clayton”), as well as classics from the genre which have inspired him. Following the event, a reception will be held at Lickety Split.

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Elska Is a Storyteller, Pioneer & a New Island for All Ages @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Elska

She has been described as the Bjork of kids’ music. Her imagination runneth over.

Indie pop siren Elska, who has purportedly discovered a newly formed volcanic island off the coast of Iceland, makes “crazy awesome electronic funderworld faerie tunes for the whole family,” says our friend, Mikael Jorgensen of Wilco. Bring the kids to explore her wacky world in MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 at 2pm on Saturday (November 8).

With her signature blend of theater, storytelling and musical performance, Brooklyn-based Shelley Wollert becomes modern pioneer Elska, delighting children with her amazing tale of island discovery. Working closely with record producer and Iceland-phile Allen Farmelo, Wollert developed Elska’s world – a vibrant cast of characters that join her for fantastical adventures on the Island of Elska.

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LIVE: FreshGrass @ MASS MoCA, 9/19-21/14

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Emmylou Harris (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Emmylou Harris (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson, Bender Mellon

The fourth annual FreshGrass festival was a rousing success at MASS MoCA in North Adams last month. It’s truly amazing how quickly the festival has grown since its debut in 2011 when only a few hundred fans were in attendance.

Of course, much of its success has to do with the stellar line-up that graced the three main stages of the museum’s grounds. This year the three-day bluegrass and roots music festival featured a mind-bending amount of music, with more than 40 bands throughout the weekend, including Emmylou Harris, Railroad Earth, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Sam Bush, Hurray for the Riff Raff, the Infamous Stringdusters, Valerie June, the Duhks, Alison Brown, the David Grisman Sextet, Sam Amidon, Cricket Tell the Weather, the Novel Ideas, the Flying Garbanzos and many, many more.

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Kyle Abraham’s Electrifying Dance “The Watershed” This Weekend @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, October 17th, 2014
Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion. (photo: Steven Schreiber)

Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion (photo: Steven Schreiber)

Tackling subject matter from the Emancipation Proclamation to the end of apartheid in South Africa and set to a score that incorporates contemporary cello, soul favorites and more, The Watershed is at once an elegant, physically electrifying choreographic work and a provocative sociopolitical reflection.

The new evening-length work has been created by Kyle Abraham, a Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient, MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and critically lauded choreographer who pairs diverse movement styles with issues of social and historical significance. Ella Baff, executive and artistic director of Jacob’s Pillow, describes Abraham’s work as “passionate, intelligent, earnest and always beautifully danced.”

It is an inportant and rare major dance event in the Berkshire off-season. Kyle Abraham brings his newest work to MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday & Sunday (October 18 & 19) in a co-presentation with Jacob’s Pillow, made possible by the Irene Hunter Fund for Dance. The Watershed is an evening-length work in Abraham’s signature blend of classical form, postmodern invention and urban influences, performed by Abraham and his accomplished company, Abraham.In.Motion.

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10-Piece Band Serves Up a Hot End-of-Summer Dance Party @ MASS MoCA

Friday, August 29th, 2014
EMEFE Dance Party at Mass MoCA August 30, 2014.

EMEFE Dance Party at MASS MoCA, August 30, 2014

Weather permitting, you will be dancing under the stars as EMEFE (as in M.F.A. – Music Frees All) a ten-piece soul-funk-everything band celebrates Labor Day weekend. These ten wailing musicians are on a mission to prove that there are no bad days, only days that need a new soundtrack. The blazing rhythms and bright sound will bounce off the bricks at MASS MoCA on Saturday (August 30) at 8pm in Courtyard C for an end-of-summer dance party that’s sure to be a barn-burner.

EMEFE lures crowds from the bar to the dance floor by beginning its live shows in the audience. The group is prone to snake conga lines while blaring trumpet squeals and swinging saxophones in one syncopated rhythm. The fun gets started at 8pm, and, yeah, if you want to learn some new moves, there will be some fun dance instruction by Jacob’s Pillow.

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Sounding Good, But Strange: Roomful of Teeth @ MASS MoCA on Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Roomful of Teeth

Upon receiving a 2014 Grammy Award for “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance,” Roomful of Teeth director Brad Wells said, “We wouldn’t have this album without our work at MASS MoCA.”

You can hear them in the open air courtyard space at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Friday (August 29) at 8pm. Listen for Hindustani and Persian singing styles, Ritornello with music and film by vocalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, and compositions by MASS MoCA and FreshGrass favorite, Sam Amidon.

On the heels of the success of its self-titled debut, Roomful of Teeth has been in residency at MASS MoCA since August 18 to explore different vocal techniques and create new groundbreaking work with a roster of guest composers. The group collaborates with American roots singer-songwriter and Vermont native Amidon, a virtuoso in the indie music world. Amidon reinvents traditional songs and contemporary hip-hop covers on guitar, banjo and fiddle and delivers them with eerily deadpan vocals that both charm and unsettle. According to Pitchfork, Amidon’s performances “meld the rural and the urban, the organic and the synthetic, the oral tradition and the written score.”

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