+ THE MIKE SMITH COMPANY
Saturday, December 3
Doors: 7pm | Concert: 8pm
The Music Gallery, 197 John St.
Tickets: $17 Regular | $10 Members/Students |$13 Advance at musicgallery.org
Louis T. Hardin, better known as Moondog (1916-1999), would have turned 100 this year. He was a blind, eccentric composer who became known as “The Viking of 6th Avenue” because of the Viking outfit he wore while he stood on the corner of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue in New York City talking to passersby about his music, poetry, and philosophy. Over the years he met a wide variety of New York musical legends, from Leonard Bernstein to Charlie Parker and was also friends with Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Moondog is sometimes credited with having some influence on the minimalist music movement, and his music has endured over multiple generations to affect the music of Stereolab, Daniel Lanois, Mr. Scruff and Mark Pritchard, among many others.
Moondog’s compositions are tonal, rhythmic, often percussive, and make frequent use of canons. Nexus Percussion, Reich’s close associates, premiered Russell Hartenberger’s Moondog Suite in 2014 and released their recording of it last year. The suite is powered by Moondog’s “snaketime rhythms”, ambience, jazzy motifs, impressions of pow-wow music, and invented instruments, with guest vocalist Suba Sankaran.
The Mike Smith Company is the ongoing outlet for the compositions of Mike Smith, a Toronto born multi-instrumentalist and composer whose work explores the interstices between folk music, progressive rock, jazz, and minimalism. Smith’s current company finds synthesist Jonathan Adjemian, vocalist Robin Dann, and trumpet player Rebecca Hennessy following the loose mandate of imagining song forms somewhere between classic salsa, wobbly electronic psychedelia and the Penguin Café. On this occasion, the group scrambles the scope further with new compositions drawn from Moondog’s rhythms and labyrinths, presented alongside fresh arrangements of classic Moondog music.
Visuals by Taiwo Odunlami
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