Posts Tagged ‘Troy’

FILM: On Screen/Sound 6 @ EMPAC at RPI, 11/4/15

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
Lis Rhodes’ “Light Music" @ EMPAC (photo:  Jeff Nania)

Lis Rhodes’ “Light Music” @ EMPAC (photo: Jeff Nania)

Review and photographs by Jeff Nania

The latest installment of EMPAC’s On Screen/Sound series continued its exploration into interesting and unique connections between film and sound last week with two pieces composed entirely for light. Lis Rhodes’ “Light Music,” and Henning Lohner and John Cage’s collaborative piece “One11 and 103” were both screened.

Notably, “Light Music” was the only piece of the entire On Screen/Sound series to be presented in Studio One with standing room only because it is meant to be experienced in an environmental space. Old school film projectors sat on the floor on either side of the room and sputtered at each other through a theatrical haze as they projected onto opposing screens. The visual images were black and white patterns printed onto the celluloid film and then read as both visual and audio information, so that what you see is also what you hear. It makes for a bath of early computer and videogame-esque sounds. Because of the haze that filled the room you could see this happening throughout the airspace as well.



Concerts Celebrate the Centennial of Songcatcher Alan Lomax

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
Alan Lomax (far left) recording with musicians for “American Patchwork”

Alan Lomax (far left) recording with musicians for “American Patchwork”

Folklorist, songfinder, author, radio personality, ethnomusicologist, oral historian, activist, filmmaker, concert producer, recording artist, scholar, archivist, lecturer — Alan Lomax was all of these things… and more.

Lomax was born in Texas in 1915, and with his father, John, and on his own, recorded a vast treasure trove of American folk music for the Library of Congress as well as a wide variety of record labels. Again, with his father and individually, Lomax published a series of highly influential printed collections, including “American Ballads and Folk Songs,” “Folk Song U.S.A.” and the seminal 1960 volume, “The Folk Songs of North America in the English Language.”

This month around Greater Nippertown, there are two big concerts scheduled to celebrate the centennial of Alan Lomax’s birth and his great musical legacy:


LIVE: Rocky Velvet @ The Ruck, 9/25/15

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

rocky4 - Copy

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

The Ruck in Troy was rockin’ – and jam-packed – on a Friday night last month in conjunction with the monthly Troy Night Out arts walk.

With guitarslinger superb Graham Tichy and hot-wired vocalist Ian Carlton at the helm once again, it was a thrill to witness another reunion of Cropseyville’s rollickin’ rockabilly cats, Rocky Velvet.

Adding to the fun and frenzy this time around, they bolstered their sound with the surprise addition of keyboardist Mike Kelley, whose resume includes stints with the Sharks, the Ernie Williams Band, Blotto, the Lustre Kings and many more Local 518 faves.


LIVE: Lyle Lovett & John Hiatt @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 10/6/15

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Outside on State Street in Troy, there were two big bright shiny tour buses and a huge tractor trailer. On stage inside the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, there were two straight-back chairs, four acoustic guitars and two sublime singer-songwriters. Heck, you could have fit it all into a station wagon.

Old friends Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt have been doing this sit-down, back-and-forth guitar pull thing for years. Before that, they did it as a trio with Joe Ely. And before that, it was a quartet of tunesmiths with Ely and Guy Clark. So it’s clear that they’ve honed in on each other in almost every way, and they know their onstage roles.

And make no mistake, their between-tune patter is as essential to their show as their songs. Dry as the Sahara and rarely cracking even a smile, Lovett plays the straight man/inquisitor, asking questions to the rubber-faced Hiatt, who steers his response to the comic side of the street and cracks up at the drop of a hat. Heck, I’d pay good money to see these guys together onstage even if they didn’t play a single song all night. They’re like the Rowan & Martin of the pre-Americana set.


Electronic Composer Mark Fell Debuts as Choreographer at EMPAC at RPI [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, October 5th, 2015


British artist Mark Fell is best known as an electronic composer. Starting out in the UK house and techno scene of the 1990s, Fell has become one of the most esteemed innovators of electronic music’s more experimental flavors. It’s within this context that Fell has expanded his art practice to include light design, architectural installation, and other configurations of multimedia performance. With Recursive Frame Analysis, Fell will add the ingredient of human movement to the mix for his official debut as a choreographer. Developed over the course of a year in residence at EMPAC at RPI in Troy), the piece will premiere there at 8pm on Thursday and Friday (October 8 & 9).

The title and disciplinary progression of the piece takes its inspiration from a mode of talk therapy developed in the 1980s. RFA is a technique whereby the content of a conversation is reconsidered by analyzing the linguistic framework in which it unfolds. Inevitably, this process becomes recursive with the context of a prior exchange becoming the content for a new one. In Fell’s project, a similar process is undertaken with each medium (sound, light, and dance) nesting within the others.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: J.D. McPherson @ The Hangar, 8/31/15

Monday, September 28th, 2015
J.D. McPherson

J.D. McPherson

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Ed Conway

The city of Troy has witnessed some memorable rock and roll shows in the past three years – the Fleshtones, Los Straitjackets, the Lawn Sausages, the Catbirds and the Split Squad certainly come to mind. J.D. McPherson, however, may have raised the bar for indelible rockin’ to one-for-the-ages.

The last time he played Troy, McPherson and his remarkable band packed the Ale House. It was a sure sign that a bigger venue had to be in order.

On a steamy Monday night, a long of ticket-holders made their way into The Hangar – for the uninitiated, it’s a slice of roadhouse heaven just across the street from The Ale House with superb sound no matter where you sit or stand. Rising above a patch of desiccated sunflowers, a giant sign outside proclaimed the show was sold out.

I barely had enough room to clutch a cold beverage, take notes and forget that the beautiful blonde I’d asked out to the show said she couldn’t make it – whatever. (Somehow, mid-show, I would make it up to the stage front; within minutes, a beautiful brunette squirmed through the crowd, danced with me for several songs, and then was gone. Who was she?). It was that kind of night.

The Mickey James Trio opened the show and had the crowd howling approval immediately. Mickey James, the teenage son of McPherson’s powerhouse drummer, Jason Smay, sported a black T.K. Smith t-shirt, confident vocals and astounding chops on guitar. Seriously, this kid’s rhythm and lead style brought to mind such greats as Dave Gonzalez and Eddie Angel. With his dad smiling behind the kit and Graham Tichy playing some mighty fine Danelectro bass, James covered a lot of ground in his 45-minute set: Chan Romero, Howlin’ Wolf, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Link Wray and Freddie King to name a few). Singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins, who had emailed me a few days before, was right: don’t miss this kid.


CD Release Party: Maurizio @ The Hangar on Saturday

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Maurizio - Before the Crowd

Veteran singer-songwriter Maurizio has released several recordings over the course of the quarter century that he’s been making music in Greater Nippertown. But the Troy native considers his new album, Before the Crowd, to be his official debut.

“Although I have numerous recordings, this is my first full-production studio album,” he explains. “I have been performing in the local 518 for over 25 years, and I have been chipping away at this album for almost four years, as life has posed numerous challenges along the way. Now at age 46, well, you could call me a late bloomer, finally releasing my first true studio album.”

Maurizio will be celebrating with a CD release party at The Hangar in Troy on Saturday (September 26). Most often seen about town as a solo musician, he’ll be joined by a full band featuring members of the Rodeo Barons at The Hangar, performing Before the Crowd in its entirety. Joining in Saturday’s festivities will be Eric Margan (8pm) and the Rodeo Barons (9pm). Maurizio is slated to play at 10pm. Available in advance or at the door, tickets are $15, which includes a copy of the new CD.

With James Gascoyne serving as producer and bassist, the album was recorded at the now-defunct Black Dog Studios in Stillwater with Chris Carey (guitar, keyboards), Sam Zucchini (drums), Kevin Maul (pedal steel) and Casey J. Chapman (ukulele, keyboards).

The emotional centerpiece of the album is the theme of family. “My Sister Rose” is a direct address to his sister Rose, while the inspiration for the song “Radio Waves” is Maurizio’s sister Grace, who died tragically at the age of 25 while serving in the Peace Corps in Africa.

“It’s a call to squarely face our devils, find that elusive inner peace and accept the impermanence of this life,” explains Maurizio. “The album as a whole would have been described as a ‘confessional’ in a previous era, and thematically it wrestles with a yearning to go back, to try and regain what’s been lost along the way. Ultimately, the songs glow with a positive message: embrace the here and now.”

WHAT: CD release party for Before the Crowd
WHO: Maurizio
WITH: Eric Margan and the Rodeo Barons
WHERE: The Hangar, Troy
WHEN: 8pm Saturday (September 26)
HOW MUCH: $15, which includes a copy of the CD

Music for the Deaf & Hearing Impaired at EMPAC at RPI [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

It’s hard to imagine the act of listening without the use of the human ear. However, for Lebanese electronic composer Tarek Atoui, listening is an act that engages far more of our perceptual capabilities than simply hearing sound. In fact, Atoui has developed an art practice around composing and performing sound that can be appreciated by a hearing-impaired audience, drawing on an understanding of multimodal listening abilities including gesture, visuality, tactility and the space in which sound is performed. On Thursday (September 24) at 7pm, Atoui will present these ideas in a free performance at EMPAC at RPI in Troy.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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