Posts Tagged ‘Troy’

LIVE: Caladh Nua @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 3/11/15

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Review by Brett Williams
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Videos and photographs by Timothy Raab

As she finished an a cappella passage during the first set of Caladh Nua’s Wednesday night show at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, lead singer Lisa Butler looked slowly, wonderingly up from her microphone, apparently delighted by the legendary acoustic quality of the Capital Region’s most under-appreciated venue. Though she probably couldn’t see it, staring back at Ms. Butler was an audience equally delighted with the performance put on by one of Ireland’s best young traditional music ensembles.

Midway through a tour of the Midwest and Northeast, quintet Caladh Nua became the latest installment of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall’s annual pre-St. Patrick’s traditional Irish music concert which has, in recent years, featured the likes of the Chieftains and Danú. And while Caladh Nua – which translates roughly to “New Haven” – may lack the stateside name-recognition of those other acts, that takes nothing away from their playing, which was as technically good as it was stirring – by turns lilting and melancholy, contemplative and rousing. Everything, in short, traditional Irish music should be.

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DD Dorvillier’s “Extra Shapes” at EMPAC Combines Sound, Light & Dance – But Doesn’t Blend [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
Dance at RPI’s EMPAC in Troy, New York.

Dance @ EMPAC at RPI in Troy

Picture a carton of Neapolitan ice cream: three bands of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate perfectly proportioned, separated, juxtaposed. Each flavor retains its unique character and might be tasted alone, but, when taken as a triad, the dessert reveals its simple elegance through complementation not combination. This is the working analogy for choreographer and performer DD Dorvillier’s Extra Shapes, which treats the mediums of sound, light and movement in a similarly autonomous manner. The EMPAC-commissioned work will premiere at EMPAC at RPI in Troy at 8pm on Friday (March 20).

For Extra Shapes, the stage itself is the ice cream carton. Within that space, works of sound, light and dance occupy the three horizontal bands. According to its parts, the piece is a concert for loudspeakers (by composer Sebastien Roux), a light show (by lighting designer Thomas Dunn) and a performance for moving figures (created by Dorvillier with the performers Katerina Andreou and Walter Dundervill).

Staged in the EMPAC Theater, Extra Shapes consists of a 17-minute sequence which is repeated several times. The audience, seated along the sides of the rectangle, moves to a new side after each iteration in order to experience very different perspectives. The idea is to present the three mediums simultaneously but separately and to propose a new way of experiencing abstraction in the context of live performance.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: FAQ Circus’ “Running” @ Gasholder Building, 2/21/15

Friday, March 13th, 2015

FAQ Circus

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Have you ever imagined starting a new life? FAQ Circus’ production of “Running” was an exploration into what it means to leave behind the familiar and explore the unknown. Running from the mundane to the cadence of mystery, every step a discovery beating the drum of possibility. Running towards an alternative reality, free to forge a new identity. Running wild…

Created and directed F.A.Q. co-founder and Round Lake native Aaron M. Marquise, the hour-long modern circus show combined acrobatics, theater and dance in the fabulously funky, circular and minimally heated Gasholder Building in Troy, for three performances during one of February’s legendary cold spells, but judging by the crowds, it was well worth braving the way-below-freezing temperatures.

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LIVE: The Fleshtones @ the River Street Pub, 3/8/15

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Peter Zarema of the Fleshtones

Peter Zarema of the Fleshtones

Review by Ross Marvin
Photographs by Ed Conway

The unfettered, unfiltered cool of the Fleshtones

Here’s an America that’s nearly impossible to imagine: Andy Warhol has a TV show on MTV. On the show is a garage revival band called the Fleshtones. They play a sinewy, melodic dirge and their young, statuesque singer Peter Zaremba flips his long bangs across his forehead as he taps a tambourine. Then, in the foreground of your not-so-flat TV set, appears a pre-Gandalf, pre-Magneto, but no less magnetic Sir Ian McKellan. He starts reciting a Shakespearian sonnet. No, I’m not having a bad trip. Here’s the proof, just one click away in YouTube land.

Hard to believe, right? MTV, and not a pregnant teenager in sight.

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LIVE: Bridge Jazz Festival @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 2/27/15

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Rudy Lu

“That’s the thing about jazz,” Marcus Roberts explained as he settled in on the piano bench in the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. “There’s room for everybody’s personality and perspective.” And certainly the opening night of the inaugural Bridge Jazz Festival proved that and more with a diverse array of music all nestled under the big umbrella of “jazz.” Three bands. Three unique approaches. All with a decidedly international spin.

Led by composer-keyboardist Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius, Heard – the Local 518 “world jazz ensemble” – kicked off the evening in fine fashion, melding jazz with influences that ranged from classical to African music. The percolating percussion duo of Zorkie Nelson and Ade Knowles with bassist Bobby Kendall laid the foundation, while Woodbury Kasius and clarinetist Jonathan Greene soared through a five-song, 35-minute set of buoyant, joyous melodies beginning with “Waltz for the Aviary” and the upbeat “Karibu.” While the set was primarily instrumental, they added the only vocals of the evening on “O Feche” and “Market Song,” singing in Ga, the native language of Ghana.

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Composer Enno Poppe to Give US Premiere of “Speicher,” Performed by Talea Ensemble at EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

The Talea Ensemble

By Larry Murray

A note is commonly thought to be the smallest element of a musical composition. It is the composer’s task to arrange these elements and the performer’s to articulate them. But up to how much pitch variation is a note with vibrato still a single note? At a certain point in performance, the composer’s schema gives way to the performer’s intuitive sense for the note, bringing life into the system.

With “Speicher,” German composer Enno Poppe has created a complex structure of variations, repetitions and mictrotonal intonation, built to push its 22 players to their interpretive and technical extremes. On Friday (March 13) at 8pm, the Talea Ensemble will rise to this challenge in presenting the US premiere of “Speicher” at EMPAC at RPI in Troy.

“Speicher” had its world premiere at the Donaueschingen Festival in Germany in 2013 to widespread acclaim. Translated as “reservoir,” the piece extends a technique called “the hocket,” with which Poppe had experimented in earlier works. Common to 14th century choral music, the technique approaches orchestral arrangement much like a large-scale mosaic, fragmenting melody across the ensemble with quick cuts and changes of timbre. This follows an earlier compositional interest into traditional Korean notions of pitch, preferring to slide between notes rather than in a stepwise manner.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: Joe Barna & Sketches of Influence @ Sanctuary for Independent Media, 2/24/15

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
Joe Barna

Joe Barna

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

I am now thoroughly convinced that it’s not the cold, the snow, the ice or even the wind chill that kills you in winter – it’s the cabin fever! And just because you have digital cable, wi-fi and Facebook to play with does not make you immune. You NEED to go out, you NEED to interact with non-co-workers, and you NEED to see some form of human-based entertainment that wasn’t cooked up on a Hollywood set. Aside from checking off all the aforementioned boxes, Joe Barna’s homecoming show at the Sanctuary for Independent Media let us help him do the best kind of warming up: Warming up for his NYC debut!

The night after he brought the latest iteration of Sketches of Influence to north Troy, Barna was set to do his first gig as a leader at Somethin’ Jazz Club, the New York City version of a venerable Tokyo establishment. Somethin’ held its own jazz festival in January while the NYC Winter JazzFest was going on (Teri Roiger was one of the featured performers), so February 25 was a big, big date. In addition to being Sketches’ “dress rehearsal,” Barna had taken upon himself the task of raising $1,000 for Sanctuary, which was technically “in hibernation” when the crowd settled down and Barna led saxman Stacy Dillard, pianist Victor Gould, and bassist Ryan Berg onto the stage. By his own admission, Barna “came close” to his financial goal; as to getting dialed in for the big gig, he and his band hit that target right in the bullseye.

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Fun with Lily Tomlin and Irish Music of Caladh Nua on Tap for Troy Music Hall [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall continues its series featuring compelling artists. Here are four March concerts worth jotting down on your calendar.

LILY TOMLIN, Saturday (March 7), 8pm

It’ll be a delightful bit of nostalgia as we have a rare chance to be in the presence of Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. This sardonic comic artist takes her audience on a trip The Washington Post called “wise and howlingly funny” with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Sister Boogie Woman, to Mrs. Beasley and to the iconic Edith Ann.

The Daily News says “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” Don’t miss this warm and uniquely affecting experience filled with comical insights and wildly, witty observations about the human condition.

UPDATE: Lily Tomlin’s performance is now officially sold out…

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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