After weeks of cold and rain, it was the first perfect day of spring; Friday, April 17th. The trees were in bloom. The sidewalks were crowded with people, and the sun was shining. I met up with my friend JNET and her son, Little Dude, and walked over to the First Presbyterian Church on Henry Street for the 1st Annual New Music Bake Sale. It was presented by NEWSPEAK and Ensemble de Sade (pictured). The event was a fundraiser and showcase for music organizations of all kinds. Each group had a table with baked goods, CD’s, buttons, T-shirts and stickers.
I got myself a cold beer and wandered around the tables. I met with Alex Rose, founder and publisher of Hotel St. George Press. I also talked to The Wet Ink Ensemble which boasts Three Generations of Experimental Music, The Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Redlight New Music, Loadband Ensemble, So Percussion, Lukas Ligeti, among many others. Each table was heaped with brownies, chocolate chip cookies, macaroons, mini blueberry tarts and even the perennial never-goes-out-of-style Rice Krispie treats. Little Dude couldn’t get enough of the sweets, and neither could I. Everyone at the tables was charming, friendly, convivial— like a modern day Woodstock minus the mud and the rain.
The Jack Quartet took the stage, a string ensemble of two violins, cello and viola. They performed an original piece by Jeff Myers with extraordinary precision and focus. They’ve played at Carnegie Hall, La Biennale de Venezia (Italy) and the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), among others. Next up NEWSPEAK, an eight piece amplified ensemble working under the direction of David T. Little. The music was astounding, genre-bending; rockabilly smashed up against classical music and musical theater. In particular, the lead vocalist had the pipes and the energy reminiscent of the high priestess of alt-music, Diamanda Galas.
Finally, I listened to Dither; a quartet of electric guitarists who play a manic mix of composed music and improvisation, orchestrated through a galaxy of stomp boxes. I found the music oddly compelling, freakishly intense. I spoke briefly to David T. Little and Eileen Mack of NEWSPEAK, two of the producers of the evening. Props to them, their partners, and organizations like the Brooklyn Artists Gym who champion art and music even in lean, mean times. P.S. Little Dude had a great time.
For more information: Christina@christinajensenpr.com
Photo Credit: Stephen S. Taylor