Daily Archives: October 11, 2009

Hope Sandoval likes to keep us in the dark

Hope Sandoval stays cloaked in darkness on the Music Hall of Williamsburg stage.

Hope Sandoval stays cloaked in darkness on the Music Hall of Williamsburg stage.

Last night was a busy one for Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? After the fantastic GraceMusic performance by Anonymous 4 in Nyack, there was just enough time to make it to Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg for Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions.

Because she had some technical difficulties, there was plenty of time to get into position for her set.

If you’ve never seen Hope perform before (I hadn’t), you need to know that the former Mazzy Star lead singer like to perform in darkness. The set started with an announcement that no photography was allowed, and one of the band’s roadies was pretty aggressive about pointing out suspected photo pirates in the audience, using a very bright flashlight beam. (As you can see, WYMMWIG got access to a photo. My apologies for the poor quality, but conditions were far less than ideal.)

Hope’s set was subdued but lovely. Her first song, “Blanchard,” was so low-key that her voice was almost inaudible in the sound mix. After that problem was repaired, her singing could be heard, but remained deliberately obscured.

Hope sang and played glockenspiel front and center onstage, with only the flickering light of projected silent films illuminating her face from time to time. She let her songs do her talking, pausing to speak a few words only in response to a cry of “We love you, Hope” from the audience. Her response: “If you love me, stop the people from talking!”

In the end, it was a strong set, but I didn’t feel compelled to applaud loudly for more. It was just enough,

Read more about the show at Yes, I Am That Important!, which also posted the set list:

Credit: Yes, I Am That Important!

Credit: Yes, I Am That Important!

Hope and her band are still in town, and will perform tonight at 9 a Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, near the Bowery, Manhattan. (212) 533-2111. $22 at the door.

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Medieval polyphony rocks!

The Nyack waterfront, looking north to Hook Mountain.

The Nyack waterfront, looking north to Hook Mountain.

Anonymous 4 unveiled their latest concert program, Secret Voices: Music from Las Huelgas, c. 1300,  in Nyack last night, wowing a packed GraceMusic audience.

Grace Episcopal Church, Nyack, NY

Grace Episcopal Church, Nyack, NY

It’s a lovely collection of polyphony from a Cistercian convent near Burgos, in north-central Spain, programmed around the structure of a liturgical day —in particular a day honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Over the course of about 75 minutes, the audience was carried through the day from First Light, moving into Morning and so forth, ending with Night.

The four women of Anonymous 4 — Ruth Cunningham, Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer and Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek — blended their voices beautifully, as always, as they sang motets and liturgical elements in various configurations, sometimes letting just two voice do all the work. Their un-amplified sound filed the rustic Gothic nave.

Apologies for the lack of concert photos, but the artists requested that now photographs be taken.

Thank you to everyone who attended. This concert was a benefit performance for Grace Church, which has housed GraceMusic for 40 years. This was the first show in the GraceMusic season. Upcoming programs include:

40th Annual Messiah Sing – 4:00 p.m. – December 6, 2009
Rockland’s only Messiah Sing! We provide the soloists, you sing the choruses! A holiday tradition.
Only $10 – children free

Steppes Song – 4:00p.m. – January 17, 2010
NYC-based, Rockland-dwelling chamber music stars Katherine Fink, Laura McGinnis, and Christopher Oldfather perform music by Russian composers Prokofiev, Cesar Cui, and others.
Admission: $15; Seniors $10, Students $5

ETA3 – 4:00p.m. – February 28, 2010
Juilliard-trained chamber trio (debuted at Alice Tully Hall) plays Debussy, Bartok, and more. Artistically perfect and totally enjoyable”
Click here for artist’s website
Admission: $15; Seniors $10, Students $5

Happy Birthday Johann – 4:00p.m. – April 25, 2010
Cantatas and concerti performed by the Grace Church Choir and Orchestra conducted by Robert Barrows to celebrate Bach’s 325th, including greetings from Dietrich Buxtehude and Antonio Vivaldi.
Admission: $15; Seniors $10, Students $5

All concerts at Grace Episcopal Church, 130 First Avenue, Nyack, NY
Free Childcare available! Meet the Artists receptions follow each concert except Messiah Sing.