A 21st Century Speakeasy
So, it was a fab time at the show the other night, and this is the first review ever of my harp music! Thank you Mikey Shake!
I’ve said it before, I’m a reporter — NOT a critic. When I see something good, I like to tell people the details. But if I WERE a critic, I’d flat-out be pretty damn excited about seeing Mama Toma’s Burlesque Show. Tipped off to Saturday evening’s hush-hush get-together while we were at Thursday night’s sweaty good time, Roxy and I were quite excited to be there. We’d heard about Mama Toma and her gang of good-timers a while back, and had been eagerly looking forward to seeing what the group had in store.
It started, like most adventures do, with finding the place. Knocking on an unmarked door to a commercial building on a dark side street in Jamaica Plain, we were let from the cold sidewalk into a packed room full of artists, dancers, musicians, drinkers, and good ol’ fashioned revelers. With a band set up in the back and a space for the performers in the middle of the floor, it was clearly going to be an intimate place to have a lively good time. It was a BYOB kind of event, but luckily, Roxy always keeps a flask and a couple of Rolling Rock longnecks strapped to her thigh, so we were ready to settle in. A combination of soft lighting and lots of cushioned seating gave the place a comfortable feel — almost homey in comparison to the overarching spectacle of some independent-circuit performances. That intimacy really lent itself to the “speakeasy” vibe permeating the crowd — and throughout the night, kept the audience’s attention on the performances rather than elaborate staging or costumes. Perhaps most of all, the beaming faces before the show even started spoke volumes about the effort made to create a fun atmosphere. If the producers care that much about making the crowd feel good before the show even starts, you know you’re going to be having a great time.
Went to see Active Child the other night. Lovely music and always super informative. One of the only bands out there using an electroacoustic harp with other loud instruments. I’m still navigating my pedalboard setup and trying not to get tons of feedback/noise, and it has been a consistent challenge at every venue I have played (but getting better:) Anyway, got to meet Pat Grossi (terrible picture but excited that it happened), and scoped out his setup. Looks like Eterna Reverb, Eventide Space, Boss Digital Delay and Chromatic Tuner.
Video I made about critical listening for Berklee College of Music. One chapter of many about music production. The whole series uses visual metaphors to teach abstract concepts.
Today I spotted a random video that I made years ago, now playing on wall at MassArt:)
Lovely time at the Jim Henson Puppetry on Film Festival at BAM. Great films, audience and artists.
Music Video playing at BAM
If you happen to be in Brooklyn this Sunday, come see a music video created in collaboration with my childhood friends Margot Fitzsimmons of Double Image Theater Lab and Lynn Scharf of Driftwood Fire at the Jim Henson Puppets on Film Festival. It should be an interesting program and I hope to see you there!