What makes music “dangerous?” Proctors and the University at Albany are teaming up to answer this provocative question by bringing three “dangerous” ensembles to perform provocative music in concerts and demonstrate it in workshops.
First up is the “avant cappella” vocal trio F’loom, giving a lecture/demonstration tonight at the Recital Hall of the UAlbany Performing Arts Center (uptown campus) at 7 p.m., then conducting a workshop on Saturday at Proctors GE Theater at 3 p.m., followed by a Proctors concert there at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
F’loom sings “language music” in which the syllables, melodies and meanings have equal freedom to, well, get “dangerous.”
“Dangerous” may be an uncommon label for a cappella music. But remember the “dangerous” doo-wop-inspired early 1970s songs of the imaginative, iconoclastic Frank Zappa, who also discovered the Persuasions and inspired them to turn streetcorner soul inside out. To this day, the Persuasions still sing Zappa’s often wonderfully rude yet harmonically beautiful songs, and they have recorded a whole album of Grateful Dead songs, while the highly hilarious quartet the Bobs often sing a cappella distillations of heavy metal songs.
F’loom may be more “dangerous” than any of those groups, with faultless technique, wildly unexpected musical choices and vivid stage names like actors in an avant-garde theater piece. There’s Robert Kulik, il conduttore; Bess Phillips, la diva; and Rick Scott, der komponist.
Tickets for tonight’s 7 p.m. F’loom lecture and demonstration at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center Recital Hall are free, but you do need one, from the box office. Phone 442-3997 or visit www.albany.edu/pac.
Admission to the 3 p.m. workshop on Saturday at Proctors is $12. Phone 382-3884, ext. 127. Admission to the 7:30 p.m. Saturday concert at Proctors is $16. Phone 346-6204 or visit www.proctors.org.
F’loom has actually been around here all week, presenting workshops at Schenectady High School, the Hamilton Hill Arts Center, Troy High School, Troy Boys & Girls Club and the University at Albany.
The next two performing/instructional ensembles in the Dangerous Music Series will also be highly visible and accessible.
Next up are the quartet Clogs, improvising folk music, postmodernism and sound effects on March 7 at UAlbany and March 8 at Proctors, and Lemur, a mostly percussion collective from Brooklyn, visiting UAlbany on April 4 and Proctors on April 5.
MARDI GRAS TIME
People often bring things to Proctors Mardi Gras. It’s a good idea.
When this annual celebration returns next Tuesday, there will be food. So people will bring their appetites. They’ll bring masks and beads collected at Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, whose party spirit they hope to ignite at Proctors. One couple even bring their own dance floor: a plywood sheet they tote down close to the stage, close to the music.
Dancing makes most people thirsty and there’s plenty of dancing at the Proctors Mardi Gras. So, even if you don’t bring a thirst, you’ll likely find one here. One volunteer bartender reported that to keep up with demand, she devised a technique for opening two Blackened Voodoo beers at once, one with each hand.
On Tuesday, the food service starts at 5:30 p.m. — Louisiana Creole favorites prepared by various local eateries. And if getting on the good-foot with the South Louisiana party spirit, in Schenectady, in February, is something of a miracle, so is getting behind a steaming bowl of spicy crawfish etouffe at the same event.
Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers rock the main stage during dinner, then Mojo and the Zydeco Gypsies from Louisiana (see interview on today’s Arts & Life cover) take over at 8 p.m. The band features accordionist Mojo himself, rub-board (or frottoir) player Zydeco T. Carrier, fiddler Greg Hirte, bassist Beau John Burke and the drums-and-percussion team of Tee John Moser and Rich “Tex” Stitzel.
Meanwhile, the huge screen in the GE Theatre shows the scene on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Admission is $33, $30, $27 and $20 (Cloud Club balcony seating). Phone 346-6204 or visit www.proctors.org. Let the good times roll.
Not lacking for ambition, pianist Lincoln Mayorga and his wife, singer Sheri Bauer-Mayorga, tackle the full spectrum of American music on their album “American Snapshots: Two Hundred Years of American Song.” Assisted by local bassist Otto Gardner, drummer Sam Zucchini and others, they claim as their own everything from the ancient folksong “Barbara Allen” to venerable jazz by Bix Beiderbecke (“Davenport Blues”) and Hoagy Carmichael (“Skylark”), protest folk by Phil Ochs and Malvina Reynolds, even a bit of John Fogerty rock ‘n’ roll.
Diversity is no problem: The classically trained Lincoln Mayorga became the main pianist on Disney soundtracks while also freelancing on recordings and onstage with Phil Ochs, Frank Zappa, Barbra Streisand and uncounted others. Also classically trained, Sheri Bauer-Mayorga launched her career on New York’s downtown scene, then founded and now directs the Columbia County Children’s Vocal Ensemble.
On Saturday, Lincoln Mayorga and Sheri Bauer-Mayorga perform their “American Snapshots” program at Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs). Show time is 8 p.m. Admission is $15, $12 for Caffe members. Phone 583-0022 or visit www.caffelena.com.
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Categories: Life and Arts