Entries tagged with: Maxim Moston

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photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Rachel Kowal

Antony & The Johnsons

A thick cloak of darkness draped the stage of Radio City when Antony Hegarty began to sing. My eyes trained on his white floor-length robe, the only thing that shone through the fog and shadows.

With its piano melodies and strings arrangements, the Antony and the Johnsons discography is far from sonically lacking. But after hearing the opening measures of "Rapture," the aptly named first song of the evening, it quickly became clear that Hegarty's music was destined to be bigger. And tonight it got that chance, thanks to the addition of a talented sixty-member orchestra. Under the guidance of conductor Rob Moose, Hegarty's music unfurled and exploded into a host of symphonic crescendos. And soon, the darkness on stage subsided as one-by-one, the screens that blanketed the stage began to lift to reveal a dream-like installation of hanging 3D geometric shapes. A restrained laser show only added to the mystique, at times blanketing Antony in a twinkling world of colorful light.

It was that rare kind of performance that breaks your heart only to have the pieces lovingly reassembled, down to the tiniest, most tender bloody shard. Hegarty's lyrics may reveal inner turmoil, but filtered through his sprawling multi-octave voice and unflinching poise, the painful material becomes mesmerizing, life-affirming, and wildly triumphant.

Combining songs from all four Antony and the Johnsons albums and at least one EP, the set revealed the evolution of the band's music, as well as Heggarty's emotions. He even threw in a surprisingly moving rendition of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" (slowed down and fleshed out to make it nearly unrecognizable). Hegarty powered through the majority of the set, playing some fourteen songs without speaking. But following the dramatic unveiling of the orchestra during "Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground," Hegarty broke his spell of silence to introduce and sincerely thank everyone who helped make the MoMA-commissioned one-night event possible, including Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) on piano and Nico Muhly who - along with Maxim Moston and Rob Moose- arranged much of the music. "Well that's quite the bulk of the show," said Hegarty. "I'm so fucking glad. It was so ambitious, this production! It was really insane."

After the applause and laughter died down, Hegarty and his 60+ band mates signed off with two additional songs before the golden velvet curtain slowly made its descent, prompting the audience to collectively exhale before erupting into an elated standing ovation that resonated beautifully throughout the cavernous hall.

More pictures and the setlist from the 1/26 show, below...

Continue reading "Antony and the Johnsons & orchestra played Radio City Music Hall (pics, review, setlist) "

Antony w/ an orchestra in 2010 (more by Richard Termine)
Antony

This is awesome:

The Museum of Modern Art has commissioned artist/musician Antony to conceive, produce, and perform a large-scale concert and performance event, Swanlights, with Antony and the Johnsons, on Thursday, January 26, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. at Radio City Music Hall. Featuring a 60-piece orchestra, the performance piece is conceived as a new commission especially developed for the January 26 performance, and an evolution of the highly acclaimed The Crying Light, which was presented at the Manchester Opera House for the 2009 Manchester International Festival. Envisioned as a meditation on light, nature, and femininity, Swanlights includes songs from all four of Antony and the Johnsons' albums (self-titled, I am a Bird Now, The Crying Light, and Swanlights), set to symphonic arrangements by Nico Muhly, Rob Moose, and Maxim Moston. It is produced in collaboration with light artist Chris Levine, lighting designer Paul Normandale, and set designer Carl Robertshaw. Antony and the Johnsons: Swanlights is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator at Large of The Museum of Modern Art and Director of MoMA PS1, with the assistance of Eliza Ryan, Curatorial Assistant, MoMA PS1.

This month also sees a work-in-progress screening of TURNING, a film by Charles Atlas and Antony on November 11th at Copenhagen's Documentary Film Festival CPH:DOX.
Tickets go on sale Saturday, 11/12 at at 10am.

by Andrew Frisicano

Wordless

Many of the weekend's 9/11 memorials chose to mark the anniversary with music. The official commemoration at Ground Zero included performances by Paul Simon (who performed "The Sound of Silence"), James Taylor (who played "You Can Close Your Eyes"), the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Video of those tributes are below.

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Wordless Music Orchestra commemorated the anniversary with three pieces of music for string quartet--Ingram Marshall's "Fog Tropes II," Osvaldo Golijov's "Tenebrae" and Alfred Schnittke's "Collected Songs Where Every Verse Is Filled with Grief"--and the debut of an orchestrated version of William Basinski's "The Disintegration Loops dpl 1.1." The musicians played seated at the center of the Temple of Dendur (where St. Vincent recently performed) while the audience faced them and the looming sandstone structures.

The afternoon's second half was dedicated to Basinski's piece, which has served as a 9/11 elegy since its creation. That relationship will continue: before the start of the program, it was announced that the work would be a permanent fixture at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The full room listened in reverential silence to Maxim Moston's live arrangement, which unfolded over a reflective 40 minutes. After the last note died out, conductor Ryan McAdams paused for a several-minutes-long moment of silence, before giving way to a round of applause, which both composer and arranger were in attendance to receive.

The entire concert is streaming (with some insightful commentary between pieces) and the live version of "The Disintegration Loops dpl 1.1" will be available as a limited-time download at NPR Music.

Videos are below...

Continue reading "Wordless Orchestra at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (and other 9/11 memorial shows that happened too)"

by Andrew Frisicano

Andrew W.K. w/ Fucked Up in Brooklyn on November 5th (more by Jake Forney)
Andrew W.K.

One of the best kept secrets in the entertainment industry, Jonté is known to the stars as a virtuoso choreographer, able to bring out the beast in his clientelle, which includes Beyonce Knowles among others. As a solo act, he brings it on all fronts, executing the freshest moves while spitting the fiercest vocal heard. His unique urban fem style is shattering culture barriers and leaving liberation in its wake. - Santos website
Jonté and a crew of Santos regulars that include Cherie Lily, Bad Brilliance, Narcissister and DJs Roxy Cottontail and Andrew W.K. will be at the club for a party on Thursday, January 28th. Tickets are on sale. We have two pairs of tickets to give away (one of which comes with a bottle of champagne signed by Andrew W.K.). Details are below.

As previously mentioned, Andrew W.K. has quite a bit going on in the coming months. He appears at Joe's Pub on February 11th as part of Gonzales' residency there. He'll be answering your questions at Santos on February 23rd (the same day he releases a new album), and he'll be on Warped Tour this summer.

Andrew W.K. produced a new album for performance artist/cabaret singer/songwriter Baby Dee, though not her next upcoming record A Book of Songs for Anne Marie, which comes out March 23rd on Drag City (pushed back from its original January release date). An album and book with the same name was released by Dee in 2004, but Dee points out "this is a new version of the album, now produced and arranged by Maxim Moston from Antony and the Johnsons." The album Andrew worked on does not yet have a name or release date. He has also played as part of Baby Dee's band in the past,

On February 4th Andrew will be part of "We Sing Baby Dee! #3," a night at Joe's Pub organized by composer Sxip Shirey and dedicated to "Interpretations of the songs of Baby Dee." Also performing will be Corn Mo, Little Annie and Paul Wallfisch, Curtis Eller, Aimee Curl, Lance Horne, Mathew and Sarah, Philip Raia and Lila, "a special guest appearance by 9 year old singer Frankky Lou Hightower from Kansas City" and Baby Dee herself. Tickets are on sale.

Baby Dee will also be performing at The Stone the next night (2/5) with cellist Matthew Robinson. Baby Dee will be touring extensively this February and March in Europe and April and May in North America.

All tour dates, contest info and videos are below...

Continue reading "Baby Dee playing shows, touring, releasing album --- collaborator Andrew WK playing too (win tix & champagne)"

photos by Ryan Muir

Antony

The show was/felt short, but sweet.

Clocking in at under 90 minutes (he started around 8:15, and we were definitely on the street by 9:45), Antony brought down the house at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem last night (Oct 16, 2008). Dressed all in white, Antony stood (the whole time) on the hardly-lit stage with a full orchestra playing behind him. Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) played piano (a job Antony used to have in addition to singing), and two regular members of the Johnsons (Julia Kent and Maxim Moston) played with the orchestra that had roughly 20 members and a conductor (Robert Moose) who looked like Nico Muhly from the back (the side we saw of Robert throughout the whole show as he eloquently moved his baton and body behind Antony). He wasn't Nico though. That was most evident when Nico, the co-arranger for the show, came on stage for a bow with everyone else at the end.

Speaking of the end, it came way too soon and after an encore that only lasted for one song. Heavy on new songs, and light on the 'hits', highlights of the setlist included a jazzed up, re-arranged version of the classic "Cripple and the Starfish", a cover of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love", and a beautiful, beautiful, old-school-Antony-full-of-emotion-and-magic, minimalistic-with-not-too-much-orchestra (aka I loved it the best) version of "Another World" which is the title track from Antony's new EP. There were no special guests, though Antony's friends Nomi and Lou Reed were both spotted in the audience. More pictures from the show below...

Continue reading "Antony & the Johnsons & orchestra @ the Apollo, NYC - pics"