Mary Lattimore brings Moogfest to The Miraverse

Earlier this year Moogfest, which was born in Asheville, made its debut in Durham.  The event was a world-wide sensation, bringing 10,000 people a day, for four days, into the funnest, funkiest, most fabulous venues in Durham to share and experience electronic music innovations and inventions.  It created an estimated 1.3 billion media impressions and earned a very encouraging New York Times review.

But the heartbeat of Moogfest doesn’t stop after four days of performances and partying.  It simply goes underground and travels around in the form of dial-tones events.  These events bring Moog leaders together in cities around the world, connecting performers with educators, entrepreneurs with artists, community leaders with community creators.

Normally, Dial-Tones events are held in large cities, but the Moogfest team was so impressed with our space that they decided to host an event close to home.  It was a great success!  Here’s a little mosaic of images showing the events of the day, from the get-together before Mary Lattimore‘s performance, some words from the Moogfest team, a wonderful performance, and a chance for people to talk with Mary after the performance.

We are so proud to have co-hosted this event, and look forward to more exciting collaborations with the Moogfest community!

Covers and the Transformative Power of Art

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Today it was announced that Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in literature.  Last weekend, Taylor Mac performed A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, in which he sang his version of Dylan’s A Hard Rain A-Gonna Fall, a response to the Stonewall Riots and their place in American history and culture.  Next week, Wayne Krantz will be performing his own covers of iconic songs at The Miraverse, hybridizing their pop-culture DNA with his own angular, progressive jazz.

In my book, the greatness of Dylan’s genius is not that it stands alone, but that it supports the work of other geniuses, such as Taylor Mac and Wayne Krantz.  Their ability to take the familiar and make us experience it completely new ways gives us insights, hopes, and confidence that we, too, can take our familiar selves and change the goddamn world.  That’s not only an exciting message, but it’s an empowering and transformative experience!

If you live anywhere in the RTP area, you can see what this all means for yourself by purchasing tickets for the event we are recording Oct 19th at 7pm at the studio from this eventbrite tickets link for the Wayne Krantz Undercover Pop Tour.  AbstractLogix (Wayne’s label) is running a special for their customers, so hit them up if you want their very special discount.

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Banda Magda brings world music to Chapel Hill middle school

Two weeks ago, world-renowned and Grammy®-winning violinist Gil Shaham performed Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D with the UNC Symphony Orchestra. The electrifying performance was a capstone event for the first half of his 2015-2016 artist-in-residence program at UNC Chapel Hill.  The smiles on the faces of those students after the performance confirmed that they knew that they had not merely witnessed greatness, but had participating in creating that greatness.  And with that great success now a part of their foundation, they can aim even higher in whatever they do next, whether it be more performances, academics, professional career ambitions, or public service.  As a Carolina Performing Arts board member, I am proud generally of the artistic residencies we have helped to realize at Chapel Hill, and very proud of this one in particular.

B001_C003_1027DK.0009649-2Last week, I had a chance to witness and help support another artist-in-residence program in Chapel Hill.  Banda Magda (founded by Greek-born singer, film scorer, and composer Magda Giannikou) has played Carnegie Hall, Webster Hall, Irving Plaza, The Kennedy Center, The Jefferson Center, Celebrate Brooklyn, Jazz al Parque, St. Moritz Festival Da Jazz, and the Chicago World Music Festival.  Their debut album Amour, t’es là? set a blistering pace (Top 10 Billboard World Music Charts, NPR’s All Songs Considered, First Listen, NPR’s 10 favorite World Music Albums 2013), and their second album Yerakina shows the next step in their musical evolution.  Magda and her band-mates have composed and/or performed on a number of Grammy®-winning and Grammy®-nominated projects, yet instead of chasing only brighter and brighter lights, she takes the time to bring up the next generation of artists and creators by doing artist residences with youth orchestras.  This year the stars aligned for the youth orchestra of the Guy B. Phillips Middle School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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Wayne Krantz coming to the Miraverse, Feb 15 2015

Wayne Krantz playing his James Tyler guitar
Wayne Krantz, Premier Guitar

Guitar virtuoso and teacher Wayne Krantz and his trio are coming to the Miraverse February 15, 2015, and we are so excited!  I first learned about Wayne from the AbstractLogix catalog.  My love of the music created by John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Herring, and others of that sort predicted I would like Wayne’s music.  Not because he imitates them–he most certainly doesn’t!  But because he is as boldly original as they are, bringing together an exciting mix of classic and alien, funky and beautiful, harmonic and angular.  I bought the self-titled album Krantz Carlock Lefebvre and it spent weeks in the player as I listened to it over and over and over again.

When Wayne released a book (An Improviser’s OS), I found myself falling down a rabbit hole of nearly infinite complexity.  And infinitely beautiful.  And that’s how I learned that in addition to being a creative composer and master player, he is also a teacher.

So it is fitting, then, for him to come to the Miraverse both to play, and to teach…and you can attend his lessons and/or performances by clicking here.

Still reading?  Then here’s some more motivation to come…

Continue reading “Wayne Krantz coming to the Miraverse, Feb 15 2015”

Get ready for NOW

AbstractLogix has released NOW, the new album recorded by Alex Machacek and Gary Husband at Manifold Recording.  It is an album you may well want to check out NOW!

Alex Machacek and Gary Husband in the Control Room of Manifold Recording

It is always exciting to think about what might happen when two of your favorite artists decide to team up and produce a new collaboration.  But it can also be a disappointment when the result sounds a bit like a tug-of-war between two visions, or a competition between the two artists.  NOW not only avoids the these pitfalls, but it soars above them with rare and wonderful transcendence.  Indeed, it may do for Piano and Electric Guitar what Crystal Silence did for Piano and Vibraphone.

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Trying new things

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Gary Husband rehearsing at Manifold Recording

This week we have been given a gift.  Two of the most talented members of the Jazz fusion community are making a record at Manifold Recording.  And they are trying something new: the co-production model of The Miraverse.  If you are within 40 miles of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, or Pittsboro, you might want to consider becoming a co-producer on Friday, or at least having dinner with these artists and hearing what Alex Machacek and Gary Husband have been creating.

A lot has changed in the recording industry since John McLaughlin started recording with Miles Davis, but a few things have stayed the same: the laws of physics that govern acoustics have not changed, and the challenge of making a great record–from the technical practice to the acoustics to the critical decisions during tracking and mixing–remain challenges no matter how much technology one has available.  The co-production model is a new approach geared toward helping artists produce their art at the highest level, using both the most advanced technologies available and the most organic acoustic spaces in which to give their music life, and to do so in an economically sustainable way.

One major task of making a great recording is the recording process itself.  This process has its own magic, its own mystery, its own moments of enlightenment to offer.  And it is a process that is usually hidden from view, inaccessible to all except those directly connected to the process.  But what about those who love not only the music itself, but the process of producing the music?  In the world of local food, chefs are teaming up with farmers, bringing the restaurant to the field so that diners can experience food in a more complete and holistic way that just what is served on the plate.  Other artists are inviting people into their studios to witness the process of creation.  Why not do the same for the recording arts?

We are thrilled that Gary and Alex are trying new things.  And we hope that you might try something new as well and support the work of these artists in a new way.  It is quite something special to hear our 9′ concert grand piano in the Music Room.  It will be quite something special to hear Alex playing through our locally-made Carr amplifiers.  And if you decide to make a day of it and spend time not only hearing them play live, but participating in the recording process.

Leonardo DaVinci once said “Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom.”  Which means that art is defined by the choices made by the artist.  By seeing those choices being made, by understanding how those choices can be discerned in a recording, you might just find that you have a whole new appreciation for your existing library of recordings as you hear nuances (choices!) you’d never heard before.

Tickets for those who wish to attend are being handled by AbstractLogix here.

BREAKING NEWS: There is now an option to join only the post-dinner concert.  Contact AbstractLogix to check on availability of these $99 tickets.  We hope to see you Friday, either for the whole day, for dinner, or for the wrap-up performance.  Thank you for helping these artists produce the next milestones in Jazz recording.

Renaissance Weekend speech texts

As we have in the past, our family participated in Renaissance Weekend in Charleston, South Carolina.  It is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas we’ve been developing and to learn from many, many people whose perspectives are truly global.  This year I was invited to share some remarks as part of the closing plenary, titled “If these were my final remarks”.  It is both a privilege to be giving the opportunity to have the last word, but it is also a challenge: of all the things that I could say, what should I say (and therefore what must I not say)?  To help me with my choice, I wrote down my two favorite themes, read them out, and decided, based on votes from a few trusted friends and my own instincts, which to deliver to the audience and which to share after-the-fact.  Here are the two texts.  Please feel free to comment on which text you prefer, or any other thoughts they elicit from you.

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