LISTENING POST: SoundNOW Festival starts this weekend
A celebration of the experimental, contemporary, post-classical and chamber music scene in Atlanta
Now in its fifth year, the SoundNOW festival celebrates the rich, diverse experimental/contemporary/post-classical chamber music scene in Atlanta. This year’s week-long festival includes a series of eight concerts by ten of the city’s fines ensembles, including Terminus Ensemble, Perimeter Flutes, Bent Frequency Duo Project, Duet for Theramin & Lap Steel, NeoPhonia New Music Ensemble, Pantera Percussion Trio, Chamber Cartel, Whispers of Night, Artifactual String Unit, Smol Ensemble and Atlanta Contemporary Ensemble. New to this year’s event lineup are a panel discussion on the Atlanta New Music Scene - Past, Present and Future moderated by yours truly, which takes place at Kopleff Recital Hall on the Georgia State University campus on Sunday, Mar. 27, at 5 p.m., and an after-party at Orpheus Brewing on Saturday, Apr. 2, following the Smol Ensemble concert. All SoundNOW concerts and events are free.
SoundNOW Festival, Kopleff Recital Hall — This year’s all-free fifth edition of the SoundNOW festival kicks off with a Sunday matinee concert by Terminus Ensemble and Perimeter Flutes performing compositions from the Georgia State University School of Music 2021/22 Signature Series. The program includes works by Hanna Lisa Stefansson, Brent Milam, David Warin Solomon, Paul Osterfield and Joshua Nunez. Immediately following the concert, at 5 p.m., Creative Loafing music columnist Doug DeLoach will moderate a panel discussion, “Atlanta New Music Scene Past: Present and Future,” with prominent figures from local contemporary classical community.
SoundNOW Festival, Day 2, Bent Frequency Duo Project and Duet for Theremin & Lap Steel, Kopleff Recital Hall — Part of the Georgia State University School of Music 2021/22 Signature Series, Bent Frequency Duo Project — Jan Berry Baker (saxophone), Stuart Gerber ( percussion) – perform From the Air by Laurie Anderson (arranged by Jan Berry Baker & Stuart Gerber), I Stood on the Shore and Looked Up at the Birds by Jeff Herriott and Hazy Moonlight by Elainie Lillios. Following an intermission, Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel — Scott Burland (theremin), Frank Schultz (lap steel) – will perform an entirely improvised set of ambient electronic music augmented by Robbie Land’s film projections.
SoundNOW Festival, Day 4, Chamber Cartel, Kopleff Recial Hall — The fifth SoundNOW Festival celebrating post-classical chamber music continue with a free concert at GSU’s Kopleff Recital Hall by Chamber Cartel. Led by founder and artistic director Caleb Herron, Chamber Cartel will present a program that includes Riding with Death by Drew Baker, The Toy Robot’s Mechanical Heart by Christopher Adler, Night of Pan by Aaron Jay Myers, Three Canticles of the Birds by John Luther Adams, Cold Mountains, One belt, heart-break green by Carolyn Chen and Domination of Black by Drew Baker.
Free. 8 p.m. Florence Kopleff Recital Hall, 15 Gilmer St SE 30303. For details about concert performances, see the SoundNOW Facebook page and website.
SoundNOW Festival, Day 5, Whispers of Night, Orpheus Brewing — Day 5 of the week-long SoundNOW Festival features Whispers of Night, a duet comprising Majid Araim on mandolin and Benjamin Shirley (Artifactual String Unit) on cello, performing their unique style of improvisational acoustic music at Orpheus Brewing. Like all SoundNOW events, the concert at the craft brewery adjacent to Piedmont Park is free. – Doug DeLoach
Free. 8 p.m. Orpheus Brewing. For details about concert performances, see the SoundNOW Facebook page and website
SoundNOW Festival, Day 6, Artifactual String Unit, Orpheus Brewing — Day 6 of the 2022 SoundNOW Festival features Artifactual String Unit: Chip Epsten (violin), Benjamin Shirley (cello) and Gabriel Monticello (bass) at Orpheus Brewing. A string trio with a difference, ARU draws from folk, jazz and classical repertoire to deliver a deliciously distinctive brew of acoustic music. – Doug DeLoach
Free. 8 p.m. Orpheus Brewing. For details about concert performances, see the SoundNOW Facebook page and website.
Dale Watson, Smith’s Olde Bar — Dale Watson brings his “Ameripolitan” brand to Smith’s for an evening of 21st century honky-tonk revelry. The appellation was chosen by Watson to differentiate his music from the current crop of Nashville-based pop country. One of the legacy-bearers of true country music, the Alabama-born, Texas-raised Watson is a maverick who stands alongside Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and George Strait as one of the finest country singers and songwriters hailing from the Lone Star State.
$25, VIP Table (for 4) $150. Doors 7, Music 8 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30324. www.sobatl.com
Brett Newski & the No Tomorrow, Smith’s Olde Bar — Singer/songwriter/podcaster Brett Newski has played alongside the Pixies, Violent Femmes, Courtney Barnett, Manchester Orchestra and Better Than Ezra. He also suffers from anxiety and depression. Newski recently released an illustrated book, It’s Hard to Be a Person: Defeating Anxiety Surviving the World, and Having More Fun,” which the author hopes will help break the stigma around his malady through humor and light sketch comedy. A CD ‘soundtrack’ to the book features eight original songs and guest appearances by Steven Page (ex-Barenaked Ladies) and Pat MacDonald (Timbuk3).
$15 advance, $18 day of show. 7 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar, Atlanta Room, 1578 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30324. www.sobatl.com
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Sifly Piazza, Woodruff Arts Center — The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is offering two new ways to enjoy upcoming concerts on April 13 and June 11. The concerts will be projected on the wall of the Bunzl building in the Woodruff Arts Center’s Sifly Piazza, a wonderful setting when the weather cooperates. The concerts will begin promptly at 8 p.m. as a complimentary, non-ticketed event. Seating is first-come, first-served. BYO chair or blanket. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Outside food and beverages will not be permitted. The performances will also be livestreamed online at aso.org/livestreams and the ASO’s Facebook and YouTube channels. The April 13 concert features Robert Spano conducting the ASO and renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma in a performance of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” followed by the Czeck composer’s monumental Cello Concerto in B minor. The June 11 concert features Spano conducting the ASO in Mahler’s Third Symphony joined by mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, the Gwinnett Young Singers and the ASO Chorus.
Free. 8 p.m. Sifly Piazza, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309. www.woodruffcenter.org
Pasafest! at Pasaquan, Buena Vista, Georgia — Following a COVID-induced hiatus, Pasafest returns to Pasaquan, the phantasmagorical 7-acre art compound constructed over three decades by Eddie Owens Martin, otherwise known as St. EOM (pronounced ohm), who died in 1986. Organized by the Pasaquan Preservation Society, the one-day festival showcases adventurous cultural endeavors from across the Southeast. An artists’ market specializing in folk and self-taught styles includes work by Bond Anderson, Elyse Mixon, Fountain City Mystic (Candice Crooke), Lee Laney, Meg Anderson, Smiley Creations and Tex Crawford, among many others. The musical lineup features Pylon Reenactment Society, Zeta, The Pink Stones, Chickasaw Mudd Puppies, Chew, Terror Pigeon, Alia Torres and Exotic Bird Hunter. New to Pasafest 2022 is a posse of poets and authors including Maconites Kevin Cantwell, John Charles Griffin and Hinda Jonathan; Kodac Harrison and Rupert Fike from Atlanta; recently published memoirist Tom Patterson from Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Columbus-based author Mamie Pound and Nick Norwood, who is a professor at nearby Columbus State University and director of the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians in Columbus, Georgia, and Nyack, New York. Handpicked food vendors, fortune tellers and St. EOM-knows-what-else will be part of the Pasafest fandango.
$20 advance, $30 at gate. Gates open 11 a.m. Pasaquan, 238 Eddie Martin Rd, Buena Vista, GA 31803. No pets allowed. www.pasaquan.columbusstate.edu.
Tiffany Uzoije, Mimosa Hall & Gardens — Roswell Arts Fund in partnership with The Roswell Music Club and Friends of Mimosa Hall and Gardens recently announced a new monthly classical music series. On Sunday, April 23, the series kicks off with a recital by Atlanta-based soprano Tiffany Uzoije. A veteran of productions by The Atlanta Opera, Uzoije has sung Mrs. Charlton in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking,’‘ a handmaiden in Puccini’s Turandot’‘ and Annie in Gershwin’s ''Porgy and Bess.’‘ Uzoije has performed two solo concerts with the Rome Symphony Orchestra.
Gordon Vernick Quartet, Rialto Center (livestreamed concert) — Trumpeter Gordon Vernick, director of the GSU Faculty Jazztet, leads his swinging quartet, which features Kevin Bales (piano), Delbert Felix (bass) and Robert Boone (drums), in a virtual noontime concert as part of the Rialto’s ''Feed Your Senses’‘ lunch-and-learn series. All Feed Your Senses programming is livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube @RialtoCenter.
Free. 12 noon. Livestreamed concert from the Rialto Center.
The Vega Quartet, Cannon Chapel at Emory University — The inaugural concert in a new series endowed by Dr. James Waits, former Dean of the Candler School of Theology, features the Vega Quartet — violinists Jessica Shuang Wu, Yinzi Kong and Emily Daggett Smith and cellist Guang Wang – performing Joseph Haydn, The Seven Last Words of Christ’‘ in the acoustically sublime confines of Cannon Chapel. Between each movement of the composition, seven Atlanta faith leaders of seven different faiths — Jan Love, David Blumenthal, Gregory McGonigle, Dwight Andrews, Don Saliers, Shweta Chaitanya and Priya Sraman — will give a short reflection on each of the seven statements.Free with registration. 8 p.m. Cannon Chapel, 515 South Kilgo Circle NE, Atlanta, GA 30322.''
The Manhattan Transfer, Rialto Center for the Arts — Arguably the best known jazz vocal group in all the land, The Manhattan Transfer was founded by Tim Hauser in New York City in 1972. The 10-time Grammy Award winning, four-part harmony troupe now consists of Janis Siegel (alto), Alan Paul (tenor), Cheryl Bentyne (soprano) and Trist Cureless (bass) who replaced Hauser following his passing in 2014.
''$50-$120. 8 p.m. Rialto Center for the Arts, 80 Forsyth Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303. 404-413-9849. www.rialto.gsu.edu’’