Hudson Valley Arts & Cultural Events
13 Hudson Valley Events to Pencil in This August

13 Hudson Valley Events to Pencil in This August

From massive papier mache puppets to the epic return of the Summer Hoot, here are a bakers dozen of fun cultural events in the Hudson Valley to light up your August.

Tags: General Arts & Culture


Kingston Artist Soapbox Derby Rolls Back

After two years off, the beloved local event will return on August 14.

Tags: Festivals

Caribbean Carnival in Saugerties

The celebration of culture will feature music, food, and other family fun.

Tags: Festivals

New Film Fall Stars Hudson Valley Actor

Jeffrey Dean Morgan of "The Walking Dead" appears in the high-suspense thrilller about two stranded daredevil climbers.

Tags: Film

Take 2: The Revived Tinker Street Cinema

Under new, longtime-local owners, the revived Tinker Street Cinema screens everything from indie blockbusters to psychotronic '70s sci-fi flicks to local, no-budget documentaries in a retro auditorium. Their inaugural guerrilla film competition launches this fall.f

Tags: Film

Hudson Valley Flamenco Festival Kicks Off

The two-day event will focus on traditional Spanish folk dance.

Tags: Dance

All One One All: Utilizing Regenerative Agriculture

Named after the well-known Three Musketeers motto and set on a little less than 15 acres in Goshen, All One One All (AOOA) is a nonprofit regenerative farm aiming to build a more sustainable and conscious community. “We're obsessed with good food, and it just so happens that we also strongly believe that good food comes from good agriculture,” says Alix Daguin, the Project Manager at AOOA. “We're trying to farm in a way that augments the local ecosystem instead of depleting it.” Daguin and her cohorts do this by implementing a range of regenerative farming practices that build up soil health and ecosystem biodiversity including silvopasture (integrating fruit and nut trees with grazing livestock), cover cropping, no-till vegetable farming, and pollinator gardens. Consumers that are interested in the nitty-gritty ecological discussion can find a large number of resources on their website to discuss how All One One All is building a sustainable farm. Conscious food consumption comes naturally to Daguin given her upbringing. Her mother, Ariane Daguin is a native of southwestern France and raised Alix between a small town in France and New York City. Her mother also founded the company D’Artagnan, well-known as a producer of humanely raised meat (and also named as a nod to the Three Musketeers). Daguin points to French foodways as one of the reasons she's inspired to eat locally. “Where we're from in France, people are really connected to where their food comes from. At the market there are live chickens,” she shares. “And I would go back to New York and I'd go to my little middle school and I'd have my own packed lunch and people were eating these square chicken nuggets. And it was like, wow, there's no bone, there's no skin, was this even an animal at one point?” This became a common thread through her experience with the food industry as a consumer in the US. During her undergraduate years at Cornell, Daguin used to drive back and forth across New York, and on these trips, she noticed that local food wasn’t very accessible despite the surrounding agricultural landscape. “I would continually drive back and forth through these areas from like the Hudson Valley to the Finger Lakes, and we have a really rich agricultural past here,” Daguin says. “And I would go to the Shop Rite or Hannaford, and none of the onions were from here, none of the garlic was from here despite the fact that we are so close to the Black Dirt region. It blew my mind.” So Daguin set out to be part of the solution. AOOA aims to encourage the community to eat locally by opening the farm to give consumers a place to learn. On the farm, visitors can take workshops or tours to see the flower fields, livestock animals, bee hives, and the many sustainable practices that the farm is employing. Since starting the farm two years ago, the All One One All team has planted just shy of 2,000 trees, bushes, and vines on the property spanning more than 600 different species. “Every time we eat,” Daguin says, “we are either making a really great choice for our local environment or not such a great choice for the local environment.” All One One All also has a farm stand on the property selling fresh produce as well as farm products like eggs, honey, wool, berries, flowers, and much more depending on the season. In the future they plan to obtain a license to have a restaurant on the farm to build on their already existing Farm Canteen as well as a dairy license to begin selling yogurt and milk. The Farm Canteen currently offers a full menu Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Daguin also plans to sell other local food at the restaurant in the future to reach further than just the AOOA farm. “It doesn't have to be from this farm, that's not at all the argument,” she says. “We have so many great farmers in this region. I just want people to care more about what they're eating, because it's really important.” ...

Tags: General Arts & Culture

The Mae House: Offering Residency for BIPOC Community Members

Since purchasing the property a little more than a year ago, LaTonya Yvette has thoughtfully redesigned the farmhouse to be a vacation rental and a calm place of rest for her own family and the broader BIPOC community.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

Kingston O+ Festival Announces Lineup

The annual art-for-wellness gathering will take place in early October.

Tags: Music

Flora as Fauna: New Paintings by Emily Ritz

A self-portrait by painter and musician Emily Ritz.

Tags: Visual Art

Larry Beinhart's The Deal Goes Down and 5 Other Books for August Reading

Anne Pyburn Craig reviews Larry Beinhart's latest book, The Deal Goes Down, and five other recommendations for your August reading list.

Tags: Books & Authors

Album Review: John McGrath | Kicktrial

John McGrath | Kicktrial (Get Out of Town Production) After a click of sticks, this five-song EP rips open with John McGrath’s roots-rock voice, straight out of Central Casting—and it works. “Inertia” is a song meant to explode onstage and it certainly does on disc, especially when spiked with utility infielder and recording engineer Andy Stack’s slashing steel—and, really, is there any other word for it? Powered by the Restless Age’s rhythm section du jour, drummer Lee Falco and bassist Brandon Morrison, Kicktrial offers many moods in its few minutes, with Margaret Vetare’s gossamer vocals providing contrast to McGrath’s gruffness. In addition to its album cover-worthy title, “Last Night’s Jesus” sounds like a long-lost outtake from forgotten Aussie rockers Died Pretty and the mellow, session-closing “Kissing the Clovers” is a perfect comedown from “Inertia’s” opening blast, while “In a Fight with the Tired Years” is as Hudson Valley as it gets. ...

Tags: Music

Album Review: Richard Carr | Over the Ridge

Richard Carr  | Over the Ridge (Neuma Records) During the downtime of 2020, Rosendale composer Richard Carr went old school. Pen to paper, he overruled decades of digitizing by constructing a dozen melodic pieces for string quartet, a third of them improvised. Hitting the violin himself on half the tracks, he recruited a smart, young string squad: violinists Laura Lutzke and Ravenna Lipchik, violist Caleb Burhans, and cellist Clarice Jensen. From there, the quartet embraced emergent structure—musical architecture coming from process itself with no predestined form—to build a set of slowly mutating modern pieces. With its effervescent moods and varying song species, this brave achievement is more for deep listeners rather than casual ones, due to its unpredictability, as the beautifully buoyant and wandering (“Processional,” “Dawn Crossing”) slams head-on into the plucky and playful (“Early Departure,” “Over the Ridge”) and the hefty and rambunctious (“Terrace Dancing,” “Funiculare”). Take the risk, but be prepared for a heady ride. ...

Tags: Music

Album Review: Yungchen Lhamo | Awakening

Yungchen Lhamo | Awakening (Six Degrees Records) Tibetan vocalist Yungchen Lhamo often refers to music’s healing power, and indeed, at a very basic level, her music—soft, sensuous, flowing like a clear river—does offer a tonic for our times. Lhamo’s rich soprano boasts a natural vibrato that powers her hypnotic melismas, and on Awakenings, her sixth album, the Kingston-based singer-songwriter is accompanied by a versatile, mostly Spanish ensemble that conjures a singular fusion of Buddhist chant, Indian percussion, Tibetan folk, and smooth jazz. Lhamo sings mostly in Tibetan with occasional forays into English and Mandarin, but her lyrics need no translation: This is the best-possible mood music, which works equally well as atmospheric background or as a point of mental and emotional focus. Standout tracks include “Monkey Mind,” whose jazzy chord progression, peppered by Julio Garcia’s reggae/Afrobeat-style electric guitar, recalls the Police, and “Compassion for All Beings,” which boasts Lhamo’s haunting, multi-tracked vocals atop a bed of throat singing. The title track could well be the Tibetan answer to Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” and “Auspicious Days” is a four-minute, raga-like melody featuring a time-suspending sopranino saxophone solo by Javier Paxarino. Lhamo is a refugee from Chinese-occupied Tibet who in 1989 escaped on foot across the Himalayas, bound for the Indian border and, eventually, Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile. It was there that the Dalai Lama himself anointed Lhamo, whose name means “Goddess of Melody,” to go forth into the world to spread the gospel of Tibetan culture. He could not have wished for a better ambassador. ...

Tags: Music

Poetry | August 2022

Singer, singer, right now, in my tummy, there’s a movie theater. Even on my neck are chairs ��"Berry Gocker (5 years) Gmail “Once you grab your stuff We are going to become strangers, You will never see or talk to me again.” The algorithm suggests my responses��" “Okay, I will” “What are you talking about?” “What do you mean?” ��"Shelby Lintel Don’t Be Afraid of the bee in your ear or the bird’s slow circling and those many other things too mountains that seem too far for to climb rivers too fast to cross truth that refuses to wait love that waits too long paper cuts and catastrophic failure not being brave losing your children burying your dog whispering to one who doesn’t listen listening to those who don’t speak seeking but not finding crying without tears looking foolish, feeling small losing the argument fielding the blame grieving the consequence dying alone, far from home don’t be afraid of the shadows the sorrows even the despair of disappearance because fear is no North Star despair not a destination as we walk ourselves home. ��"Kemp Battle P.C. Adam, at his P.C., says, “Eve, what’s in your hand?” She says, “It’s an Apple thing You wouldn’t understand!” ��"Evan Pritchard For S and J Sometimes��"if I find myself in the right spot��" I can carry my kids in my breath. ��"Leah Brickley Communion Photograph I am a poet, not a prophet; My work is in my hands. When pleas for forgiveness Climb up my throat like bindweed, I swallow. This wilderness was placed in me To range, to roam, to be healthy and real, And there are ways to speak to God That aren’t apologies. My prayer stands on both feet. She kisses her mother goodnight And asks her grandfather to tell stories. I keep her white dress in the attic. Someday, when she comes in from the yard With her skinned knees and asks me, “Will I be good?” With that first sorry paleness Blooming underneath her freckles, I’ll smooth her tangled hair and answer. ��"Emily Murnane Prayer Like moth’s eyes glowing dimly beyond the screen door, I saw in the piecemeal way of the world and not with angel’s clear sight. This half-life of love is become too long, the heart’s homing lost, the lamb sacrificed. Tiny bridges, too crystalline and fragile to stand, all fall and shatter down in a tinkling rain, and the roads through the mind are dammed. O Angels, will you stand by me as you did that time at sea? I’ve lost my course and chart and courage, the thousand unshed tears at last are blinding me. A reign of transcendent stillness, the white promise you spoke to me. ��"Augusta Ogden The ‘A’ Word Uncensored tongue spews words unkind; don’t react, she thinks, let them pass through you. She learns to be quiet and, most times, receives in silence the infrequent blow. He doesn’t remember their dialogue of two minutes ago. “How old am I” he asks. “88,” she says. “When do we go home?” he asks. “We are home,” she says. “What should I wear?”��"and then “No, don’t tell me what to do!” She backs off. Routines get mixed up in his mind; she helps him sort things out, tries not to be “the teacher.” “Do I shower now, or eat?” “How old am I anyhow?” “88,” she says. She knows he is not the cellular rot in his brain; she needs to remember how they were before. “Where do I sleep tonight?” he asks. “Here, with me,” she says, turning down the covers. “Are we married?” he asks. She looks up, startled, then smiles. “54 years,” she says. They both laugh. She turns out the light. “I love you,” he says, pressing his hand on hers. “I love you too,” she says as the tears come. ��"Lyla Yastion Willie, Mickey, and The Duke Enough said? Yes. Absolutely. Enough said. ��"George J. Searles Frogs Dreaming in Late Autumn A fractured white sky. Leaves falling on crystal pond: No more dreams till spring. ��"Thomas E. Callan What Kind of Lover Are You? My father will bring a deep-pocketed merchant From the land of diamonds to marry me. And, my lover, Who is the lord of mountains is lost in his enterprise. His disciples say, he has invaded the grooves of sandalwood. His gatekeeper says, he has sunk into Mansarovar. Is there anyone who can tell my lover about my wedding? The scent of my jasmine wreath has faded. My anklets have lost their melody without him, And my body has morphed into a living corpse. I ask, “Shiva, what kind of lover are you?” You left me on a heap of fire to burn alive. ��"Nidhi Agrawal Far And Near A Conversation Between Georgia O’Keefe & Galileo Galilei “Look out there, so far, a star��" The waning moon is a scimitar! Enceladus and Europa each have an ocean Planets and comets in orbital motion Is the universe finite, yet without ledges? If you travel too far will you fall off its edges?” “What heavenly bodies do I see? Here on earth, they’re right before me! Look up close at this iris, so near... Pistil and stamen, sepal and beard The shadow of your lunar eclipse Gently cloaks my petunia’s lips.” “I’ve swung from the Milky Way’s chandelier Until it became abundantly clear��" The rhythm of the pendulum Gives existence its eternal hum And nothing at all in the firmament Can ever be fixed, will never be permanent.” “I have no interest in physics equations��" I prefer to caress the terrain’s undulations The shapes of the petals and anthers I render Are often mistaken for parts of my gender I do not endorse these interpretations But can’t control others’ imaginations.” The night sky is smeared with silvery speckles A sunflower’s cluster of earth-colored freckles Cosmos the universe, Cosmos the flowers Asterids, asteroids, meteor showers Galaxies spiral inside of a rose A Jimsonweed closes, the universe grows. ��"Barbara Lipp Exquisite Corpse The full moon hung in the night sky like a backyard paper lantern. The man slumped over at a picnic table cluttered with beer cans that glinted in the moonlight. He raised his head at the sound of a trash can being knocked over in the distance. She meant to throw a kiss to someone and hit herself in the face! Should she be worried? Looking back, she discovered every boyfriend she ever had had state of the art audio speakers. All the oozing pathologies. She misses the complete certainty that social contact was impossible during the spring of 2019. The world was as rich and mysterious as ever, just no people. She feels awkward being in the room, thinking she should have waited in the other. The man, an attendant, sitting on the floor in a corner asks if she would like to be a leaf in his theatre production. They turned around slowly, warily, not knowing the source of the peculiar sound. A childhood memory from this time of year. At her grandparents’ house there was a stream and a little pool filled with tadpoles and frogs. She and her younger sister would spend all their time down at the stream. She was afraid of frogs and maybe because of that fear was excellent at spotting them. She was excellent at catching them but never saw them. She remembers time after time making a deal with her sister; she’d show her the frog on condition she wouldn’t chase her with it. Deal, and of course she’d always catch the frog and chase her. She knew not to trust her sister but loved spotting the frogs. She seduces people at such a young age. She is beautiful to watch and suddenly you glimpse the pathology. A man sits in a chair next to her and says they have a strong possibility. She jogs away barefoot running really fast now that she is vulnerable. She is supposed to go somewhere but doesn’t know where. She thinks of a playlist of subjects to write about and decides she is her own subject. He answered, “my funny palindrome. A man. A plan. A canal. Panama.” They didn’t understand what was happening. Frozen with indecision and a frisson of fear, the youngest spoke. “I really need to pee!” Everyone wants to live to 80…no one wants to be 80. ��"Verna Gillis, Linda Fite, Mara Kearney Loving, Kathleen Anderson...

Tags: Poetry

Sound Check: Scott Helland & Samantha Stephenson's Listening Picks | August 2022

Scott Helland and Samantha Stephen of post-punk cabaret duo Frenchy and the Punk offer their latest listening recommendations.

Tags: Music

"Invasion!" at Ancram Opera House

Fear, Foreigners, and Xenophobia in Jonas Hassen Khemiri's Play, Running August 5-21
The play “Invasion!,” written by Swedish-Tunisian playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri, centers around the collective fear of malevolent foreigners. The play opens at Ancram Opera House on August 5.

Tags: Theater

Angelique Kidjo Performs at Caramoor on August 6

A Q&A with the Africa’s Premier Diva
We catch up with Grammy-winning Beninese diva Angelique Kidjo ahead of her August 6 show at Caramoor in Katonah.

Tags: Music

"Stressed World" at Jack Shainman Gallery

The current “Stressed World” exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery's the School in Kinderhook is a graceful dreamscape grounded by moments of sheer existential gravity. The impressive transnational and multigenerational roster of 30 participating artists—including Carrie Mae Weems, Radcliffe Bailey, Carlos Vega, Hank Willis Thomas, Gordon Parks, Odili Donald Odita, Nick Cave, Paul Anthony Smith, Tyler Mitchell, and Claudette Schreuders, among others—provides an amiable path through an otherwise intense range of social-cultural complexities. Entering the exhibit, we are first faced with Yoan Capote’s Status Quo (Reality and Idealism) (2010) sculpture of an oversized scale. On the one side is a large gold dish, and on the other a smaller black one. This work serves as an authoritative preface that symbolically announces Blackness as a central theme of “Stressed World.” The show then takes the viewer on a twisting path of diverse aesthetic narratives, some of which seem to contradict the foreboding title itself. Among those are Ifeyinwa Joy Chiamonwu’s photo-like charcoal drawings on paper. The deep tones and natural ebullience of her chosen subjects—African women and girls—reflect the traditions and myths of Nigerian people while providing a kind of stanza to Capote’s sculptural “opening lines” with respect to balance and power. One such work, Lost Page (2018), is of a goddess-like woman weaving a large basket, her gaze set entirely upon the time-honored object that she is creating with her bare hands. Another heartfelt section is a room of mixed media works by Lyne Lapointe. Her charming characters made from linen and fabric display a sensitivity and psychotherapeutic quality yet are also reminiscent of the lonesome world of the Little Prince on his remote planet. Other digressive moments provide a romantic glance of a “time gone by” that remains relevant, such as Andy Warhol’s New York City Scene (1976—1986) series of black and white photographs of a nondescript street corner repeated in a grid. While many of the artworks included in this exhibition appear accessible and even gleeful, others accentuate the weight of our times. The titular Stressed World (2011) piece by El Anatsui is an enormous installation composed entirely of ravaged aluminum bottle caps bound with wire, a candid comment on the scale of global consumption and waste. Jackie Nickerson’s series of digital C-prints from 2019 are an uncanny foreshadowing of the 2020 virus reality, when the entire planet was turned upside down simultaneously and without discrimination. Each of her eight photos—with titles such as Clear Head and Cloud—includes a lone figure that is somehow obscured by a painted plastic object or other random covering, suggesting personal desolation and disconnection. Another example of the anxiety of the “Stressed World” theme is a room of bleak paintings by Pierre Dorian. Although these visions of simple architectural scenes including hallways, corners, and doors look harmless enough, the haunting alienation of those spaces is palpable. Abstract works on paper by the late Barkley L. Hendricks also express a sense of solitude that peppers the entire exhibit, and his Untitled (1971) painting of nine ellipses set against a green background provides a perfect lyrical reverberation with Hank Willis Thomas’s Endless Column (2017) sculpture of nine basketballs frozen in time, expanding upon his concern with the commodification of Black men and their identities. As I made my way through, I could hear the Talking Heads’ “we’re on a road to nowhere” melody ring true for the dynamic assemblage of artworks included in this show. The works have something powerful to say, yet the fantastical “nowhereness” of art itself as a parallel realm of understanding provides an imaginative road of insight that is equally idealism contrasted with harsh realities, indeed a genuine reflection of our evermore stressed world. ...

Tags: Visual Art

Jeffrey Gibson: Art in the Intersection

Through his work, Hudson-based visual artist Jeffrey Gibson explores issues at the the intersection of Native American indigenous craft traditions, cultural narratives, symbols of power, history, personal identity, and contemporary social issues relevant to BIPOC and queer communities.

Tags: Visual Art

Toothy Tale: Thomas Edison's Steinway

Thomas Edison's toothmarked piano, thought lost, has arrived in Woodstock.

Tags: Music

A Conversation with Florist on the Heels of their Acclaimed New Album

Florist: The New Soundtrack of the Catskills
Florist just released a self-titled album, their fourth full-length album in a decade. The 19 tracks, recorded in the summer of 2019 in a rented house the band shared in the Hudson Valley, are a diverse mix of songs, instrumentals, and natural sounds of rain and birdsong that just earned the band a spot as one of Pitchfork's best new albums. Led by singer and songwriter Emily Sprague, Florist is back to its original lineup on this album, consisting of Jonnie Baker, Rick Spataro, and Felix Walworth. They all have deep ties to the Catskills. The band recently gathered in Palenville to chat with me over Zoom about making this new record, collaboration, friendship, the mystery of existence, and carrot cake. You can hear Florist’s new album and excerpts from our conversation on the next Ginger Radio Hour on Tuesday, August 2nd at 10am ET on WGXC 90.7 FM in the Hudson Valley and Catskills. Florist performs at Tubby's in Kingston on August 26. Get tickets here. —Justin Maiman Q&A with Florist Justin: I have a good place to begin. I think you've written the definitive soundtrack of the Catskills. Full stop. Florist: Wow, wow. Yeah, that's a bit of a mic drop. Thank you. Damn. That's pretty huge. Justin: I know this because I've tested the album on a bunch of walks around Greene County and Columbia County. Yesterday I was over at Olana early in the morning, and I listened to the full album on a couple-mile walk. I listened to it again in the cemetery, which is one of my favorite places to be. That was a perfect place for it. I also played it a couple of days ago at a local park. On every one of these walks, I listened from the beginning to the end, and it felt like I was listening to an album that had been made in this place. Florist: Wow. Yeah, that's perfect. That's amazing. It's great feedback. Justin: How do you do that? Emily: I think there's a huge essence of all of us that is this place. I mean, we're in Palenville right now. We all grew up in the area. Felix here is pretty connected to the area despite being from the city. It's kind of where we all learned who we are, who we are to each other, and music. Rick: We started the band a mile away from here, more or less. So yeah, just a lot of time and a lot of growth here. Emily: It's a huge, huge part of who we are and what the band is. And we've also always recorded ourselves, in the area, in pretty janky little sheds and cottages and stuff. I think that has always made its way into the sound. This process was the most fleshed out version of doing that that we've ever done, which I think really made its way into the actual sound files. Emotionally it's all in there, but definitely wasn't an intention to make it the soundtrack to the place. Makes sense, I guess. Rick: We were recording in a house together and we were doing a lot of it on the screened-in porch, during all different times of day. So you're getting daytime, birds, and nighttime insects and whatnot. That's how it sounds when you're recording on a porch like that. Emily: I think we're the type of people who tend to be open to things not being perfect-sounding. For us, it's important that something captures a vulnerability or a trueness to whatever we’re recording. Not with the goal of creating this perfected, fully fleshed out final track, but to have something that is really capturing time and place and feeling. That was the biggest factor when we were recording. It was very much about being where we were and who we were with each other. Felix: It's sort of the opposite approach to a typical recording studio, which to me is usually a lot more about removing variables, taking oneself outside of the environment, and even the architecture of those spaces is no windows, cloth all over the walls, and then the sound is the only thing. We thought: let's plop all of our weird old equipment down in the most exposed room in the house and see what we can make here. Rick: It seems like that's not that uncommon nowadays for people, but it's really all we've ever done and what we like to do. It feels good as a process. We just got to be on a porch and feel the wind blowing. It just feels good. Felix: And when you let your environment and your circumstances lead you in your artmaking practice, some really magical things can happen. Justin: I think one of the things that process reveals is a sense of place. I think some people have gotten out of the habit of listening to albums. I really enjoy listening to albums all the way through, and this album, from beginning to end, puts you in a setting. You're in a place that is not a studio, like you said, it's a natural habitat. It's just chock full of the sounds of the Catskills. Emily: I think the way that we made it was really wholeheartedly without any safety nets. With the way that everything was sequenced, when it came down to that, it was about creating the whole hour that you listen to, and that's what creates the sense of place and the story and the journey. The goal of the album was to be that and communicate that. It felt like a bit of a leap of faith to almost push people to listen to it that way and hope that the attention span and patience are there to stick with it. Justin: I have a question about collaboration, but before I ask it, I just want to find out if there are certain things that all of you want to say about the album or the music that you don't always get to say about it out loud. Rick: As a person who helped make this, what I like about the album is that when I listen to it, I feel like I'm there. I feel like I'm back working on it, in that time, in that summer. Emily: When we talk about the record, we're talking about our process together and our relationships to each other, which is a huge part of the narrative of the album. But when you step outside of that, it’s about this much larger scope of connectedness. You can feel us playing the music, and you can feel us in that space that is specific to this place, to the Hudson Valley. At the same time, hopefully, it's encapsulating a feeling of the connections between everyone, everything, wherever you are and whoever you're with. That’s the thing I'm proud of. We did that in a way that will be accessible as a piece of work to listen to for somebody in another state or another country or another time in life. I believe in music being accessible, even if it's got a specific story or a life that it's representing or telling, or a perspective that it's coming from, but that it can still be universally, to a degree, meaningful. That's a big purpose of it for me. I do feel I'm proud of it. We can talk so much about our relationships to each other, which are endless, but it's hopefully a bit meta as well. Justin: I think it translates. The connections between the four of you can easily translate: micro relationships can translate to relationships that we all have, that people all notice, not necessarily just with small groups of friends, but to each other, to people we don't know. Emily: Yeah. Jonnie: Wow. Justin: You said you were in this house for a month. I know you went there to do this, but I wonder what it was like day-to-day. You were coming in, and had some lyrics written, and knew parts of what you were doing, but then half the album is made up of these instrumental elements and recordings. I'm wondering how you managed it day-to-day, or if it just happened organically. Jonnie: Definitely happened organically. We just were hanging out. There was a lot of time where we were not playing music. We were together for a full month and just doing chores and playing video games. Sometimes somebody would just wander into the space that we had set up to record and would just press record and start working on something and messing around at all times of the day. I think that's how most of the instrumentals happened. We didn't necessarily go into it with a plan to do it like that. Emily had a couple songs and then was gonna keep writing songs throughout while we were there and that was the plan. We just ended up, because we were spending time together, and when we spend time together we end up making a lot of noises and we recorded a lot of them. And that was just purely, I think, recreational and just to get things out. A function of being there was making all those extra sounds and it wasn't until later that I think we decided to put a bunch of 'em into the album. Emily: I think it started to make a lot of sense too, because I had a few songs written. We would work on a song, and then I would go off and try to write a little bit more. In the meantime, everything was set up and ready to go. And like John was saying, we would just walk in there and start making these instrumentals, and it was kind of like the album is sequenced. We'd be working on a track and then we would have this hour that we would just run the tape machine till its end. The tone of all that was informed by us being there together in this strange, almost like a bit of a bubble. We were kind of in our own little reality there. We definitely didn't have much structure at all, or much of a regimen to get certain things done. It was very much letting our emotions guide us, and whatever the day brought, accepting that. We did manage to make some music despite having no real discipline or playing or anything. (LAUGHS) Jonnie: That is what the album ended up being about: this is just what we naturally do together, clearly. Even just in a day, like all of the changes that happen in your life, just in your experience of reality through one day when you're not making an album. When we were together, we ended up capturing a lot of that, just by accident. Felix: Emily had several full songs written when we entered this process, but usually there was a whole album written before we entered a process like this with a narrative arc and an understanding of what we were writing about and what we were arranging around. The songs that Emily brought were connected by their themes of connectedness and overcoming hesitation and trepidation around interdependency in the world. That was our jumping off point, but it was really like three or four songs or something. Emily: Yeah, nowhere near a full album. Felix: Nowhere near a full album at all, and so it was a really unique process for me, and I think for all of us, to get together and be like: let's make an album because we want to make an album. Not because we have something to translate. It wasn't even really a translational process. It was more like an excavation. Emily: Yeah. I think it was a bit of an experiment as well. We have always talked about, over the years, wanting a significant amount of time to work on things. In the past, it was more straightforward, like we're just kind of getting these songs down, and that's the album. That was obviously a fine way to do things, but we always, I think over the years, have felt that feeling of: what would happen if we had more time than we needed, or enough time to wake up at noon and then just do anything else? Make music until 9:00 PM and then just play music all night? I was writing songs after we had already gotten there; the rest of the record was written there. So it really did become about that little world and being free to be a little bit more daring with how we're making things and just pushing the limits, and feeling like we can strip everything away and be our raw selves, and try to touch this thing that is super mysterious about existence and what everything is. Justin: It is mysterious. There's something about surrounding yourself with both time and your things, whether it's writing or making music, making art, but there's a lot of pressure when you're by yourself doing it. One of the things that I am jealous of about people who make music together in bands, is that there's so much collaboration that is spurred by each other, but also it takes some of the pressure off. Jonnie: Definitely. Rick: In terms of collaboration, there were some songs that we tracked mostly live, but I'd say much more time was spent on record[ing] the basics of a track, and then someone would go cook some food or would just go lay on the couch or whatever. Someone else would be working on it, just trying out ideas and sort of trading off. Whenever one of us felt like we were able to work on it or [were] inspired to work on it, we could, and that takes a lot of the pressure off. You don't have to be like: Oh, I'm not being productive. I'm sitting on the couch. It's actually like: Oh, this is a process. Each one of us is having this little bit of time to try stuff, and that's necessary and productive. Without any strict schedule — just basically doing this as a practice, repeatedly working on stuff and going through that cycle — we ended up with a lot of stuff. Emily: It was both a group effort and also I think the trust that we had at the time, and have with each other at this point to individually go work on something without anyone else present. There was also this sense of separate collaboration, like Rick is talking about, where there were a lot of different schedules going on, and everyone would be in and out of their creative abilities for the day at different times, and we would just figure out how to weave in and out of that. I think it was based a lot on trust, this effort of individuals, and our connectedness to each other, even when we weren't playing together. Felix: One of my strongest audio memories of the experience was at one point during the recording we moved our whole setup down to the bottom floor of the house for a bunch of environmental disaster reasons, you know, the elements. Emily: It started raining every day. Felix: Yeah, the elements stopped being kind to our vintage recording gear. I was going to sleep pretty early most nights up there and my room was directly above where the recording started taking place. Jonnie was down there for several days working on this very complex string arrangement, multiple tracks, on the song “Dandelion” on the record. And I was just hearing that at four in the morning — at all hours. Jonnie: Sorry. Felix: No, it was beautiful. It was like a sort of soundtrack to my semiconscious state. It was like it was alive at all times in the space with people trying out sort of hair-brained recording ideas. And a lot of those hair-brained ideas ended up on the record because they were genius, actually. (LAUGHS) Rick: Many of them do, many of them don't. I think that's the great part is that you don't have to decide while you're doing it. Jonnie: Yeah, totally. Justin: I'm a big believer in pushing and pushing and knowing it doesn't have to be perfect. This might not be the exact track, or maybe you won't use this instrumental. But then did you keep pushing it and, at four in the morning, still work on arranging it or throwing something out and just saying: Oh, I don't know, let's try something new? Emily: There was so, so much of that. So much stuff that we both didn't use and stuff that we redid, but also stuff that was just the first actual thing recorded. There was no law of: this has to be worked on for this long, or this has to be this raw. Rick: On “Dandelion”, that's the song John was working on the string arrangements for a long time, I do know that the bass track that's on the recording was me learning the chords along with Emily. So Emily was tracked. We were recording the guitar and vocals, and I was learning the bass part while we were doing that, and that ended up on there. Jonnie: It was perfect. Rick: But then there's these labored over other arrangements on there. Jonnie: Just like the way you were kind of going around exploring the song ended up being the song. Rick: So the contrast of the labored over and the spontaneous. It’s just something we like that ended up there. Emily: And then songs that we did 10 takes on, all in a row, and then ended up not using any of them. So definitely the whole range of just trying to feel like whatever the thing is, is what it was in our heads, I guess. Felix: Something I feel like we have a really strong common language for now, at this point, is we all know when there's something special. Jonnie: Yeah. Felix: I don't think there were any moments where someone was like: how can we possibly get rid of this? It's perfect. Everyone was just like: it's wrong, we need to think around this. Or: it's totally perfect — don't touch it ever again. Jonnie: Yeah, definitely. Emily: We’re lucky. Justin: I think you are lucky. I've heard this on your other albums as well, this trust and this intimacy. If you're gonna be in a band, those are really wonderful things to have, right? Emily: Yeah. I mean … Jonnie: We never forget it. We talk about it all constantly. Emily: We are like: how is this even possible? How do we still like each other? And I mean more than ever, too. We've gone through so much together, and at this point it feels like it's really just so, so, so special and lucky. Justin: And to that point, forget the band, you know? That's just like the icing on the top. Emily: Exactly. The band is 100% just the bonus thing about it. It's totally just the extra. Jonnie: Amazing. Emily: I think music serves so many different purposes. Our story has one kind of major element to it that is who we are and what we're doing. And that's the beautiful thing about music too, is that it truly can be put into so many different scenarios in life and be this perfect experience elevater. All across the spectrum, it can be tapped into whatever that purpose of music is, which is so profound. I feel like one of the things about us as friends that sticks out to me is that we have, so often and for so long and in so many different ways, been so uncomfortable around each other. We have an ability to sit in that. Not uncomfortable with each other, but just uncomfortable as a human with a body in reality. Jonnie: Yeah. Emily: Like feeling that heaviness of existence around each other. We have always had this openness to accept that person and keep collaborating emotionally as friends, just as people. That feels like something that has become a part of how we are musically aligned with each other too, even during making this record. There were a lot of ups and downs. Emotionally it wasn't just like we were having this amazing time and every day we were happy and just kinda making music. A lot of times it was super, super intense and emotional. We were going through all these different things but feeling comfortable enough around each other to be in that space and make music, despite it. Even more so, put it into the music in a way that I think can really encapsulate a realness of being and feeling that is kind of what we try to do. Felix: And if someone had to disappear for twelve hours, it wasn't like: where the hell are you? The most important thing is that we're all taking care of ourselves and each other. That's sort of like you're saying: the band is the icing. The relationships are. Jonnie: Totally. It's so strange that we even are a band. It’s almost like the friendship is the thing, And then for some reason we also go make sounds together. It's great. Rick: Right. There's no lack of conflict, and there never is with human beings. To me, what makes the things we make musically more interesting, at least when I hear something, is that there are many different voices on it. Things get pulled in a direction that I might not expect and having conflict, having different ideas isn’t a bad thing. That leads to what I think is a more interesting relationship, ultimately, and as the icing, the music. Justin: What kind of cake would you be? Rick: What was that cake that your dad made at the house? Felix: It was a carrot cake. Rick: Carrot cake? Emily: Carrot cake. Rick: We would probably be a carrot cake. Carrot cake, I would say. Jonnie: Interesting. Rick: Oh, you don't wanna be a carrot cake? (LAUGHS) Justin: The band is breaking up. Emily: You heard it here first. Justin: So how do you do all of this live? Emily: We just started practicing. We always approach playing live as trying to just listen to each other. A lot of the stuff that we've recorded can't or isn't supposed to be recreated exactly live because it's not the recording. I think live music feels really good to play when it's about listening to someone and being there alive. I mean, it's like the most visceral way of experiencing music, right? I think we're just approaching it that way now where we're stripping some things back but making sure there are dynamics present, because I think that's a big thing about the music is how it has dynamics and leaves space for quietness and then can also intensify. I think we're learning a bit how to maybe do more with less now, which is kind of cool. The bottom line is just to play well with each other and listen to each other. Rick: Somewhat surprisingly to me, the overall mood and the arrangement ends up pretty close to the recordings. There might not be every layer, but we all are multitaskers in a lot of ways, and we make the best use of that as we can. Emily: And hopefully you simultaneously aren't missing the recording because it is full enough. And at the same time it's different enough that it's a new and equally as enjoyable experience. Jonnie: Yeah, hopefully. Emily: Hopefully. Yeah, exactly. Rick: That's the goal that always seemed intuitively what feels good and what would be a better show than playing along to a track, which I totally understand is a technique, but I think it's just not what we want to do. Florist: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Felix: In our live arrangements we play with a bit more abandon than on the recordings too. Well, on this record, there was a lot of abandon even on the recording, but there are a lot of parts to this live set that we keep pretty open and unarranged. There are improvised parts that can last anywhere from thirty seconds to three minutes, depending on how we're feeling about playing with each other at that moment. I hope that also translates to people as alive and vital, but for me it's so important to have that when we're about to go play these songs so many times in a row. To have this feeling of possibility every night really keeps me present. Emily: Yeah. Keep it tight, keep it loose. That's our motto. Rick: Yeah, that's our hilarious motto. This interview has been edited and condensed for publication online. Justin Maiman writes a weekly newsletter called Ginger that's devoted to moments of inspiration. (Read Ginger and subscribe for free here.) He also hosts Ginger Radio Hour on community radio station WGXC 90.7 FM in the Hudson Valley and Catskills. He's a journalist with more than 20 years of experience in digital media, radio, and television. ...

Tags: Music

Make City Winery Hudson Valley Your Next Weekend Escape

The Montgomery venue has award-winning wine, farm-to-table eats, rockin’ tunes, and dreamy new digs where you can lay your head
City Winery Hudson Valley in Montgomery is a one-stop-shop for enjoying the Hudson Valley's arts, culture, and fine dining offerings to the fullest.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

“Real Life Revival” Live in Saugerties

Hosted by Robert Burke Warren, the curated event encompasses storytelling and music.

Tags: Theater

"Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin" Indicates Hudson Valley Film Boom

The new HBO Max series “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin” is set to premiere on July 28. The series will take place in the imaginary, blue-collar town of Millwood—a place Hudson Valley residents might recognize as Saugerties.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

Mames Babagenush Live in Woodstock

The hot klezmer-jazz sextet will bring their spicy, danceable sounds to Colony.

Tags: Theater

Generation Women at Phoenicia Playhouse

The panel will present six local storytellers recounting tales of personal change.

Tags: Theater

14 Hudson Valley Hotels with Outdoor Pools

The Hudson Valley inns and resorts on this list have curated the perfect poolside experience for your next getaway or staycation. Here are 13 Hudson Valley hotels with outdoor pools for your peak summer experience.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

Litchfield Jazz Festival Set to Kick Off

Now in its 26th year, the Western Connecticut event returns this month.

Tags: Music

I Love My Dad Screens at Greenville Drive-In

The new indie comedy starring Patton Oswalt will be shown on July 28.

Tags: Film

LOUD Weekend Lights Up Mass MoCA

The three-day experimental music event will feature performances by Jim Jarmusch and many others.

Tags: Music

A New Hiking Loop at Fahnestock State Park

The United States Military Academy at West Point, Open Space Institute, and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation are partnering to improve parks across The Hudson Valley.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

“Great Gatsby” Radio Play in Rosendale

The classic Jazz Age novel will performed live at the Rosendale Theatre.

Tags: Theater

“Scotland Road” on Bannerman’s Island

The award-winning play centers on woman who appears to be a survivor of the Titanic disaster—or does she?

Tags: Theater

10 Top Stops to Visit During 2022 Upstate Art Weekend

From amid the 150+ art exhibits, projects, and open studios participating in the 2022 Upstate Art Weekend, here are our 10 recommendations.

Tags: Visual Art

“Hedwig” Creator Plays Live at Mass MoCA

John Cameron Mitchell will costar with Amber Martin in a night of songs and stories.

Tags: Theater

"Portrait Ellenville" Project Captures Joy

This Ongoing Art Project By Charles Purvis and Collaborators Captures the Faces of Ellenville Residents
This photography project Portrait Ellenville offers free portraits to anyone that walks into the studio. The portraits are taken by photographer Charles Purvis.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

Kingston History Films Screen This Month

Kingston historian Stephen Blauweiss will present three new documentaries about the city's main neighborhoods.

Tags: History

Experimental Music in Kingston Tonight

Local duo Bore and Al Margolis and Tom Law will perform live at Green Kill.

Tags: Music

Kingston Children’s Day Parade to Return

The 52nd annual event will be held on July 15.

Tags: Festivals

Where To Watch Fireworks This Independence Day

In this guide you can find everywhere to see fireworks and thoroughly celebrate 4th of July this weekend in the Hudson Valley.

Tags: General Arts & Culture


Hudson Valley Events

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The Summer Show @ Carrie Haddad Gallery

The Summer Show

Aug. 3-Sept. 25, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sat., Aug. 6, 5-7 p.m. — Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present “The Summer Show”, a group...
Bard Music Festival: Sergei Rachmaninoff and His World @ Fisher Center at Bard

Bard Music Festival: Sergei Rachmaninoff and His World

Aug. 5-14 — The Bard Music Festival returns for its 32nd season with an exploration...

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It’s high time Chronogram made a newsletter about marijuana. Stay in the know with the latest on dispensary openings, industry news, cultivation tips, and more as we cover the emerging cannabis scene in New York and the Northeast. Welcome to High Society.


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