(Friday), the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore
College will open an exhibit celebrating French conceptual
artist Marcel Duchamp, the Dadaist/surrealist who, in 1919,
drew a mustache on a print of the Mona Lisa and initialed
it L.H.O.O.Q., which (in French) sounds like “she has a
Duchamp worked in various mediums—painting, photography,
mechanical drawing and installations—but he’s mostly known
for his painting. His innovative works (like The Bride
Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, two glass panels
displaying iconic allusions to gender) have been described
by art critic Clement Greenberg as setting precedents for
the next 50 years of artwork.
There will be 10 original Duchamp works displayed in the
museum, along with works by more than 40 other artists,
all working in the Duchampian spirit. Among the artists
featured are Conrad Bakker, Hans Peter Feldmann, Dan Fischer,
and Josiah McElheny; their works date from the 1960s to
the present and range from paintings and photography to
installations and sculptures.
Living With Duchamp will be on display at the Tang (Skidmore
College, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs) beginning tomorrow
(Friday, June 27), and running through Sept. 28. An opening
reception celebrating all the Tang’s summer exhibitions
will be held today (Thursday, June 26) from 6 to 7:30 PM.
For more information, call 580-8080 or visit www.skidmore.edu/tang.
Jones, Gillian Welch
Jones is the daughter of the best-known Indian musician
in the world, Ravi Shankar. But don’t let your abiding dislike
of the sitar discourage you from checking her out when she
swings through Proctor’s on Monday.
Jones (pictured) has inherited daddy’s nimble fingers, but
chooses to exercise them in a different idiom, on a different
noisemaker. In fact, she was pursuing her degree in jazz
piano before the lure of the big city dragged her from Texas
to Greenwich Village, where she performed regularly with
a funk-fusion outfit. Inspired, she began penning her own
songs, and, on the strength of those torchy numbers, landed
herself a deal with the prestigious Blue Note label—and,
a little later, a Grammy Award or three.
Opener Gillian Welch comes from an impressive lineage as
well, albeit metaphorical: She’s a neo-traditionalist country
player in the style of the Carter Family and Ralph Stanley,
with whom she played on the popular O Brother, Where
Art Thou soundtrack.
Norah Jones and Gillian Welch will play Proctor’s Theatre
(432 State St., Schenectady) on Monday (June 30). Tickets
for the 8 PM show are $35-$50. For tickets or more information,
Alloy Orchestra, Speedy
state the obvious, silent movies are silent: They have no
dialogue, sound effects or music. They were never intended
to be experienced that way, however. During their brief
heyday at the beginning of the last century, silent movies
were presented in tandem with live music. From neighborhood
theaters to urban picture palaces, the musical accompaniment
created by a single pianist or a full orchestra enhanced
the onscreen action.
The Alloy Orchestra, one of the more celebrated ensembles
currently providing music for silent films, will come to
MASS MoCA Saturday night to accompany Harold Lloyd’s celebrated
1928 comedy Speedy.
features Lloyd (whose wildly popular persona was considered
an archetype of the all-American go-getter) as a baseball-mad
young man frantically trying to save the last horse-drawn
trolley in New York.
our most intricate score,” says Ken Winokur, who plays clarinet
and performs on junk percussion for Alloy. This, he explains,
is because the fast-paced comedy is so intricately edited.
Winokur says that as a result, their score is loaded with
“aborted, reversed and turned-around” changes to match the
action. In addition to the elaborate gags and the carefully
crafted story (a Lloyd trademark), the film contains extensive
footage of such lost landmarks as Coney Island’s legendary
Winokur is proud of this score: “It’s one of our best.”
The Boston-based trio, whose other members are Roger C.
Miller on synthesizer and Terry Donahue on junk percussion,
accordion, saw and banjo, have been accompanying silents
since the early 1990s. Their distinctive, percussive sound
is familiar from their numerous live performances. Alloy
got their start when the manager of a local Boston repertory
house wanted to run a print of Giorgio Morodor’s version
of Metropolis, but without Morodor’s ’80s rock soundtrack.
The trio put a score together in two weeks, and the positive
reaction was immediate, Winokur remembers: “The audience
sort of went nuts.”
Since this auspicious start, the Alloy Orchestra have been
a regular presence at the Telluride Film Festival, and have
performed at venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the Louvre.
Their boosters include documentary filmmaker Errol Morris
and critic Roger Ebert. They have recorded scores for numerous
silent films on DVD, from Soviet classics to the comedies
of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and Buster Keaton. This fall,
Warner Home Video will release a Lon Chaney set that includes
their score for the macabre drama The Unknown.
There have been a few naysayers among silent-film buffs
who reject Alloy’s percussive approach. Winokur replies:
“I kind of understand it, we’re a nontraditional group.”
He also points out that this is a minority opinion, as Alloy’s
performances continue to be very well-received.
Why silent film? “It’s an amazingly powerful medium,” Winokur
explains. “We play the music we enjoy,” and they try to
make the music fit harmoniously with the action. Silent
film offers a chance, he says, to make music that is “vital,
interesting and active.”
with live music by the Alloy Orchestra, will be presented
Saturday (June 28) at 8:30 PM at MASS MoCA (1040 MASS MoCA
Way, North Adams, Mass.). Tickets are $12 for adults and
$6 for kids. For more information, call (413) 662-2111.