Posts Tagged ‘North Adams’

On Saturday, MASS MoCA Offers a Free Day of Wonderment for All [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

bosmassmocafree

On a day when their galleries teem with visitors and activities, you can take a peek behind the scenes in every aspect of the North Adams museum. MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson elaborates on the history of our campus. Art fabricators break down the process of taking a project from concept to completion, and you can watch their tech crew build a concert light show. Enjoy elevator music (played live), art-making, dance performances, story time, treasure hunts, and all the usual Free Day fun. MASS MoCA’s Free Day goes down on Saturday (January 31) from 11 am to 7 pm. A dance party follows later on with Nomandic Massive, a ticketed (not free) event.

Ever wonder how a 12-ton phoenix got into the museum or what it takes to put on a dance performance? Free Day visitors are encouraged to engage with museum staff who lead specialized talks and tours to answer all your MASS MoCA questions. Hear Richard Criddle, Director of Fabrication and Art Installation; Sue Killam, Managing Director of Performing Arts; and Joseph Thompson, Director, talk about: The History of MASS MoCA; The Technology Behind Dying of the Light: Film as Medium and Metaphor; How It’s Made: an inside look at the exhibition installation process; The Show Must Go On: a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the performing arts at MASS MoCA; and a detailed overview of the long-term Sol LeWitt Retrospective. Additionally, gallery tours that discuss museum history and art run every half hour from 11:30am to 6pm. Family-focused tours are available at 12pm and 2pm, and family activities are ongoing throughout the day.

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Bi-lingual Latin Music at MASS MoCA: Helado Negro’s “Island Universe Story” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

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Roberto Carlos Lange, aka Helado Negro, produces bi-lingual music that is “a sonic landscape that reflects 21st-century Latin America” (NPR). Fresh off a release on Sufjan Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty label, Lange sets out on his new musical/visual project “Island Universe Story,” which will be developed at MASS MoCA in North Adams with a team of eight musicians including Mikael Jorgensen of Wilco and David Byrne percussionist Jason Trammell, as well as members of the William Onyeabor Atomic Bomb Band and Marc Ribot’s band. Helado Negro will perform a work-in-progress concert of his latest project, “Island Universe Story,” at MASS MoCA on Saturday (January 24) at 8pm.

Born into the vivid colors and pounding boom box beats of 1980s south Florida, experimental electronic producer and performer Lange incorporates the sensual tropical storms and irresistible Latin groove of his childhood into the eclectic, reflective sound of his most recent musical identity, Helado Negro. Spanish for “black ice cream,” Helado Negro’s style is at once primal and sophisticated, characterized by layers of ethereal Latin rhythms and contemporary beats that combine Lange’s rich, soulful voice and poetic lyrics in hypnotic soundscapes that have earned him the title of “experimental psych maestro” (Pitchfork). A multi-tasker on stage, Lange merges music and art in mesmerizing multi-media performances that often incorporate video, laser lights, fog and back-up dancers.

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Sundance and MASS MoCA Host Screenwriter Lucy Alibar’s Residency and Reading [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Academy Award-nominated Lucy Alibar, whose stage play was adapted into the award-winning film Beasts of the Southern Wild, workshops her latest, Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up, with the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, in residency for two weeks at MASS MASS. Catch a reading of this work – a tale of a man, his family, his animals and his burn pile – on its way to the bright lights. The Sundance Institute Theatre Program presents Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up in MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 on Saturday (December 6) at 8pm.

During an evening exploring Southern eccentricity and family dynamics, Lucy Alibar’s Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up reflects upon the writer’s unusual upbringing in rural Florida, focusing on stories of her father – a criminal defense attorney and true Southerner – whose peculiarities shaped her identity, both in childhood and as an adult.

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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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