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March 2013 Archives

March 14, 2013

Matt Small and Fran Williams 'The Way We Were'

Private View 27th March 6 - 9pm
Open 28th March - 13th April.
We are delighted to announce that Matthew Small and Fran Williams will be showing their work together for the first time in a two-man show at the gallery. The show called 'The Way We Were' finds the two artists in top form, producing powerful works in their distinctively intense styles. Both artists have largely concentrated on portraiture as their main stylistic medium. There is also an underlying melancholy and soulfulness in both their works, which sits very well together, even though the technical means of achieving this atmosphere is quite different.

Fran Williams studied illustration at Swansea Metropolitan University and since graduating she has shown in across the UK solo and group shows and at a number of important Art Fairs, notably the London Art Fair. Her unique blend of ethereal beauty and painterly technique, have found her a place in the Urban Art scene as well as in the Fine Art community. The artists says about her work 'I relentlessly explore the emotive qualities of paint, surface and form. My ethereal figures that take the viewer on a journey within. The paintings are a visual diary of my life experience so far, as I aim to capture and trap my feelings and emotions in paint'.

Matthew Small also studied illustration, firstly at the University of Westminster and then at The Royal College of Art. He has shown extensively in London and internationally and has been a considerable figure in London's Urban Art scene for several years. Matt's unique technique, creating a colourful kaleidoscopic effect in a series of intimate portraits, mostly of young black men, has become an iconic trademark for the artist. He invariably paints on found metal objects, which adds to the intensely urban feel and beauty of the works.

For more information:
Chris Garlick
020 7613 155007766 057 212
Chris@signalgallery.com
or
Rochelle Marsh
Rochelle@AbstractPR.com
www.signalgallery.com

March 22, 2013

Jake Heggie's "Ahab Symphony" Premieres at University of North Texas

The April 24 concert of the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra will feature the premiere of internationally renowned composer Jake Heggie's Ahab Symphony, which will include the UNT Grand Chorus and celebrated faculty tenor Richard Croft as soloist. Jake_Heggie-cr.jpgHeggie's first full symphonic work, Ahab Symphony expands on ideas he first explored in his critically acclaimed opera Moby-Dick, with text from Melville's novel as well as W.H. Auden's poem "Herman Melville." The work was commissioned by the College of Music and the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts, and written for the UNT Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Itkin; the Grand Chorus, directed by Jerry McCoy; and Croft, professor of vocal studies at UNT. The commission was part of Heggie's artist-in-residence award from UNT in 2010-11.

Photo - Karen Almond

The first movement, "Dawn," is the most heavily influenced by Moby-Dick, including direct quotes from the opera. The second movement, "The Wind," inspired by the challenges faced by both the character Ahab and Melville, explores the eternal battle of man versus nature, and the inherent powerlessness and frustration of this conflict. That leads to an aching third movement, "The Narrow Balcony," and a fourth movement, "The Pieces," that takes a tone of yearning simplicity and resignation. "The opera Moby-Dick pushed me into a new world of musical language and expression, and this is part of the evolution of my musical style," Heggie said. "In a symphonic work, you don't necessarily have to have action like in a staged drama - you can really go inside and meditate on the ideas. There was so much we couldn't touch on in the opera that I was yearning to explore further in a symphonic work." Based in San Francisco, Heggie said he is eager to return to UNT, where he made friends with students and faculty and was able to work with Croft. "The first time I heard his voice was in Otello at the Met in 1996," Heggie said. "He came on stage and I was blown away. At that moment, I had in the back of my mind that he was a person I would love to write for one day." Seeing Croft's performance as Ghandi in the Philip Glass opera Satyagraha sealed Heggie's desire to work with the tenor. Glass's minimalist style was also an influence on Ahab Symphony, itself, Heggie said. "I'm very proud of this piece," Heggie said. "It pushed me and forced me to explore different kinds of musical styles. Everyone at UNT has been so supportive. I'm very grateful."
Croft, the UNT Symphony and Grand Chorus will also record Ahab Symphony for commercial release. The recording is sponsored in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. "This concert represents a high point of pride and honor for the UNT College of Music - pride in the quality of our Symphony Orchestra, our Grand Chorus, its conductors and our faculty soloist; and the honor of presenting to the world the premiere of the first major symphonic work of one of America's most celebrated living composers," said College of Music Dean James Scott. The first half of the program introduces the "sea theme" of the evening with Felix Mendelssohn's Overture: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, Opus 27, and Benjamin Britten's Four Sea Interludes, Opus 33a, from the opera Peter Grimes.

The 8 p.m. concert in Winspear Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors, UNT faculty and staff, non-UNT students, children and groups of 10 or more; free for UNT students with valid ID. For ticket information, call the box office at 940-369-7802 or visit www.theMPAC.com/tickets. The concert will also be streamed live online at http://UNTmusiclive.com. The concert is sponsored in part by the UNT Fine Arts Series.

March 24, 2013

The Green Light

the-green-light-cr.jpg

A new book of poetry, The Green Light by Kathi Wolfe, will be published in June by Finishing Line Press.

'In The Green Light, one mid-century New Jersey family comes achingly to life, their struggles, our struggles: how to love, how to live fully, despite illness, in spite of disability.  Kathi Wolfe brings us a novel's worth of unforgetable characters in this stunning collection, each circling the bright star of Rita, girlfriend, then wife, then mother, "so sweet, so diseased."  "I've never wanted to change my address," declares daughter Kate, in the closing poem, and neither do we, in thrall to these voices, this family so eager for one another, so willing to "baptize" their lives, "new sneakers in the mud." '
Sarah Browning, Director, Split This Rock
 
'Kathi Wolfe traces the story of Stan and Rita through the "Happy Days" of post-war America when swing was still strong and the marriage of a Christian and a Jew was a "mixed marriage."  Importantly, it brings to the forefront the choices that were made in those times about children, family and lifestyle ba a woman with diabetes.  Wolfe, who knows about disability firsthand, imbues her poems with a playfulness and energy that not only entertains, but makes clear that despite its difficulties such a life is fulfilling and well-worth living.'
Michael Northen, Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability
 
'Poet Kathi Wolfe is a combination of Emily Dickinson and Roseanne Barr.  She's funny, she's sad, she's imagistic, she's wise.  I love the way humor sneaks through meaning, turning dark to light.  She lets story comes through characters, so that family members become messengers of transformation.  Rather than being exhausted by memory, this poet gives us nerve bundles of the past.  The Green LIght is an exhilarating set of poems and its mischievous intelligence has the sweet smell of success.'
Grace Cavalieri, Producer, The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress.

You can pre-order the chapbook now.  
The price is $14 per copy, plus $2.49 for shipping.
 
To order online, go to Finishing Line Press
 
To order by snail mail, send a check to Finishing Line Press, P.O. Box 1626, Georgetown, Kentucky  40324.
 
Pre-order purchases ship on June 22.
 

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